Lesley Bird has been a keen motorbike rider for many years. But on 15th July 2017, she and her partner were enjoying the ride from their home in South Brent to Quince Farm at South Molton when things took an unexpected turn.

Lesley doesn't recall exactly what happened. She was on her Suzuki V twin Gladius 650cc  - her pride and joy - when she was involved in a collision with a car on a bend of the A377 Crediton to Lapford road. The impact, at a combined speed of around 75 mph, caused her severe injuries, including multiple fractures of her pelvis, a broken femur and knee, four broken ribs, both arms broken and a perforated bowel.

her partner, Pete Batten, was at Lesley’s side as the Devon Air Ambulance landed and aircrew Darren Goodwin, Mark Hodkinson and Dr Dawson rushed to help. The team administered sedation at the scene and Lesley was monitored closely as she was flown to Derriford Hospital where she underwent scans and surgery to fit pins and plates to her various broken bones.

Lesley spent 48 hours in Intensive Care and a total of three months in hospital, including a spell in rehabilitation and at Kingsbridge Hospital.

Collecting the bike debris following the accident.

Helipad Editor, Debbie Gregory, was pleased to learn that Lesley was now making a good recovery, as Lesley explained.

I’m still not able to hop, skip or jump and I’m not back on my bike (yet), but I’m actually doing really well and so happy to be walking and mobile again.

Lesley is now planning a party to celebrate her forthcoming 60th birthday and has requested donations to DAA from friends and family, in lieu of gifts, as a way of saying thank you. When asked if she would be able to dance at her party, Lesley said “I’ll be able to do a slow smooch with Pete but then I’m going to put a bar stool in the middle of the dance floor and let everyone dance around me!”

We are sure Lesley, her family and friends will have a fantastic time. 

In 2018 it cost £7.5 million to keep Devon's Air Ambulances flying and we are only able to do this with the generous help of incredible supporters. Our patient stories help more people to hear about the work we do, by and for the people of Devon, so if you have been airlifted by us and would like to share your story then we would love to hear from you and how you are doing now.