I interviewed the survivor of a very serious motorbike accident and was taken on a pretty emotional journey as he shared his darkest moments; having faced death on several occasions. It’s an inspirational story that demonstrates the power of the human mind and our will to live. It’s also extremely confronting when you think about what it might be like to suffer internal haemorrhaging on the side of the road before being airlifted and cut open in the intensive care unit for four days straight.
By Damien Long as told to Jessica O’Reilly
I could taste warm blood at the back of my throat. I was stumbling around the side of the road looking for my bike, telling myself I was fine. I wasn’t delirious; I just didn’t want to believe I was injured. I’d crashed motorbikes before and I’d always got straight back on. That’s what you do—find the bike and get back on. But this time I was only wearing one boot and my helmet had come off. Also I kept falling over, which was another thing that didn’t usually happen.
I lay on my back and tried to convince myself I was okay. It was freezing and pouring with rain, but my chest and stomach felt like they were on fire. Later I’d learn I’d ruptured my diaphragm, kidney, liver, and spleen. I’d broken multiple ribs and I could feel them clicking with every breath. Two ribs had pierced my right lung. Both collapsed. They were drowning in blood so I could hear a weird gurgling sound every time I tried to get air. I thought this is it. You‘ve done it this time.