Motocross rider thrown into air in Knottingley to share story on Helicopter ER

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An off-road motorcyclist who was catapulted over his handlebars and "went flying" at 40mph in Knottingley is set to appear on the Helicopter ER television show.

James Cook-Coulson, from Hibaldstow, North Lincolnshire has been Motocross riding since he was 13.

On the day of his accident, he was racing at Gale Common Motoparc in Knottingley, Wakefield, with a group of friends.

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Mr Cook-Coulson said: “My friends had just packed up and left, and I decided to have one more lap of the circuit”.

James Cook-Coulson, from Hibaldstow, North Lincolnshire.James Cook-Coulson, from Hibaldstow, North Lincolnshire.
James Cook-Coulson, from Hibaldstow, North Lincolnshire.

“I went around the corner, and then I got a little bit scared that someone was close behind me, so I made a split decision to jump further than I normally would so that I wouldn’t be landed on.

"As I jumped, my wheels became stuck in the ruts and threw me over the handlebars, and I went flying at around 40mph. I barrel rolled down a rough straight and I felt like I was in a washing machine. I knew I’d done myself some serious damage.”

Spectators and the owner of the Gale Common Motorparc ran to his aid and called the emergency services.

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Due to the severity of the rider's injuries, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance were dispatched.

“When I came to a stop, I felt that I was bleeding internally – I knew something was wrong. It was a strange sensation, I felt wet and warm on my insides”, said Mr Cook-Coulson.

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance Critical Care Team provided immediate treatment and decided to fly him to the nearest major trauma centre at Leeds General Infirmary.

Tests revealed that he had punctured his lung and suffered serious damage to his liver and kidney.

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He was rushed straight into emergency surgery where he was given three pints of blood and they searched for the source of the internal bleeding.

Mr Cook-Coulson had killed off a large part of his liver and had two aneurysms, which required their incoming arteries gluing.

He spent five weeks in hospital and endured four surgeries, including a laparotomy, where surgeons removed his intestines to clean out his abdomen.

He has spent the last 10 months in and out of hospital and had lost two stone due to issues with his abdomen following his incident.

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However, Mr Cook-Coulson hopes that one day he will be able to ride again.

He said said: “One of the paramedics came over and kept telling me to squeeze his hand, and focusing on this I believe kept me alive.

"I owe my life to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, if they hadn’t taken me to hospital so quickly, I wouldn’t have been able to have life-saving surgery.”

To thank the crew who helped save his life, he is planning on fundraising for the rapid response charity once lockdown is over.

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The episode, which airs at 9pm on the channel Really on Monday, also features a car rolled over on the A1, an assault in Hull and a cyclist knocked over by a car in Hornsea.

Helicopter ER is made by York-based Air TV, which has won five Royal Television Society awards for their work on the compelling series.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance serves five million people across the region and carries out more than 1,500 missions every year.

The charity operates two, state-of-the-art Airbus H145 helicopters and needs to raise £12,000 every day to keep saving lives.