Phil Hitchen, Managing Director of operator Belle Vue, has thanked members of the public in Manchester who came to his aid after he suffered injuries in a cycling accident.
Phil shattered his left leg when his bicycle hit an oil spill on Saturday 15 May in Greater Manchester, and lost its grip with the road. It is thought that the spillage was hydraulic fluid. He had been training for a charity ride to Blackpool with Belle Vue colleague Matt Turner and friend Craig McLean.
After failing to get going again, Phil was left in the road in “excruciating pain”. “It was a terrible break, I actually heard the bone crack. I was screaming from the excruciating pain and I was shaking from shock. I wasn’t able to move from the road,” he says.
Members of the public then came to Phil’s aid, providing him with a blanket, coat, foil sheeting and hot water bottle to keep warm. One woman offered medical assistance, and two passing police officers gave him a hi-vis jacket.
After two hours, an ambulance eventually took Phil to Tameside General Hospital where he underwent an operation to repair a shattered femur and receive a blood transfusion. After five nights in hospital he is now recuperating at home.
“An ambulance had been called, but after an hour I spoke to the control room myself. I was told they were extremely busy and was asked what my pain threshold was like. I said four out of 10. I was by then comfortable and not in as much pain as long as I remained still.
“They had other, more urgent priorities at the time and the ambulance finally arrived two hours and 15 minutes after the accident. I wasn’t angry, but was frustrated that it took so long. I would not have thought the service was so stretched.
“When it did arrive, the crew were incredible. The care and professionalism they showed was outstanding. The same is true of the staff at Tameside General, from the nurses and surgeon to the physiotherapists who helped me get back on my feet.”
Doctors say Phil is expected to make a full recovery within 12 months.