Two years ago, Richard Jones was travelling in his work vehicle on the A40 when his life changed in a split second after a horrific crash left him with life-changing injuries. 

On the afternoon of 7 February 2020, Richard, from Tenby, was approaching the Travellers Rest junction in Carmarthenshire. The 32-year-old can’t remember much about what happened, but witnesses have said that he hit the crash barrier, which then flung his Toyota Hilux pick up in the air and into a large sign and poles.  

Wales Air Ambulance medics Dr Bob Tipping and Critical Care Practitioner Marc Allen attended the incident. 

Richard showed signs of internal bleeding and received six units of blood products in total, administered by Bob and Marc at the roadside. Due to the severity of his injuries, they also gave him a general anaesthetic and put him onto a ventilator to control his breathing. 

The Wales Air Ambulance medics then transferred Richard, via a road ambulance, to the nearest specialist centre for limb injuries. He underwent a partial amputation of his right leg at Morriston Hospital in Swansea. 

Richard woke up in the Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) ten days later and, due to his condition, he doesn’t remember much about the accident. 

Richard said: “One of the main flashbacks I have is being on the floor, not really knowing what’s happened but a guy in a red suit standing over me. I have been told that this was one of the crew from Wales Air Ambulance. 

“I’ve always heard stories and read online about all the amazing things the Wales Air Ambulance did. However, I never really thought about the service before and never thought I’d end up needing their assistance.” 

Immediately after the incident, a few members of the public rushed to Richard’s aid – including an ex-army medic Ian Thompson, who was passing and stopped to help. 

A grateful Richard said: “What he did that day contributed towards saving my life as he luckily still kept his army splints and tourniquets in his boot and quickly put them on me before the emergency services arrived.” 

Inspirational Richard, who worked in the building trade on a MOD site before his accident, is adapting to life without his leg. 

“There have been many ups and downs. I’m still adapting to life with one leg and coming across new obstacles every day. It is due to my family, friends and hobbies that I have kept positive and continuing my journey to recovery.” 

Richard, who met his partner Michaela on the ITU ward when she tried to sell him and his family cakes for Dementia UK, are now expecting their first child – a baby boy due this month.  

A determined Richard is now walking with two walking sticks on a prosthetic limb and is hoping to return to work when he is fit enough. 

He said: “Up until recently, my femur was still broken. So, two years on I’m still experiencing pain but I’m hoping I won’t need another operation. Physically, I’m doing well. Mentally, I have the odd day when everything gets on top of me, when I’m a bit down in the dumps. Before the accident I was 100 miles per hour, now I’m getting used to the new way of life.” 

Jo Yeoman is a patient liaison nurse who works in partnership with the Wales Air Ambulance Charity. She said: “We are delighted to see that Richard is adapting to life with his prosthetic limb. His story demonstrates the importance of the Wales Air Ambulance bringing the emergency department to the patient. Our medics were able to give Richard six units of blood, a general anaesthetic and put him onto a ventilator all at the roadside which ensured that Richard had the best possible care before reaching the specialists at Morriston Hospital.  

“It is heartwarming to hear that two years on Richard is positive and looking forward to the birth of his and Michaela’s first child. We wish them all the best for the future.” 

Note April 2022 - We are pleased to announce that Richard and Michaela welcomed their baby boy in March 2022, congratulations!