A teenager who has astounded medics by relearning to walk and talk after surviving a horrific car crash has thanked the aircrew that saved him.
Evan Sweet suffered serious head injuries in a road collision at Lynemouth on November 29, 2014.
The lifesaving intervention of the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) meant the 19-year-old was swiftly treated at the scene before being airlifted to hospital for further specialist care.
His parents Brian and Wendy Sweet were unsure if he would pull through and kept vigil by his bedside. Finally after nine days, they were given a glimmer of hope when they were told that he was “unlikely to die”.
There was a further breakthrough when his brother, Drew Sweet, played a cover of Mad World by Tears for Fears and Evan’s eyes flickered.
Nearly two months after the crash, he emerged from his coma and since then the Ellington man has endured a long recovery.
Slowly, Evan regained his sight and use of his right arm so he could communicate using a tablet. He then learned to walk, aided with a stick, and he recently joined Brian and Drew for the last stretch of a fundraising walk along Hadrian’s Wall to raise funds for GNAAS.
Nearly nine months after the crash he eventually returned home.
Now, Evan, along with his family, has had an emotional reunion with the medics who were at the scene of the collision to thank them for the role they played in saving his life. The family also handed over more than £4,600 raised at the walk to the charity.
Brian Sweet said: “The fact that the air ambulance was able to attend the scene is the only reason Evan survived. Our family cannot find the words to express our gratitude. We are forever in their debt.
“This is something that at one point we could have only dreamed of. We were unsure if he’d be blind, in a wheelchair or whether we’d have to feed him for the rest of his life. Doctors said we’d be lucky if we got 80 per cent of him back and now look, we’re there.”
Air ambulance paramedic, Andy Mawson, said: “He has amazed us all. This is one of the call-outs where I am certain that without the help of GNAAS, he simply wouldn’t have survived. It has been brilliant to see him looking so fit and well.”
Brian said: “We hope the funds raised allow GNAAS to help someone else like they’ve helped us. We pledge our long term support to such a worthy service.
“Small things don’t matter anymore. Who’d have thought we’d be in the situation that we’re in today? Someone is looking out for us that’s for sure.
“I’ve also learned to appreciate what others do such as giving blood and becoming organ donors, both of which I’ve crossed off my to-do list this year.”
The family has also praised Walkergate Rehabilitation Centre in Northumberland and the RVI.