Cliff thanks Magpas lifesavers

Cliff Johnson with Dr Rod MacKenzie centre, left partnerToni Right sister Tara and children Harry, 1 and Henley, 2. Photo supplied

Cliff Johnson with Dr Rod MacKenzie centre, left partnerToni Right sister Tara and children Harry, 1 and Henley, 2. Photo supplied

Cliff Johnson remembers nothing of the accident a decade ago which left him with horrendous injuries.

Crossing the road after a day studying at Neale-Wade Community College in March, the then 12-year-old was hit by a car and left lying in the road fighting for his life with a fractured skull and serious leg injury.

Arriving rapidly at the accident scene in Elm, Magpas’ intervention was crucial.

Cliff was placed in a clinically induced coma to protect his brain. After providing him with enhanced A&E level care, Magpas emergency physician Dr Rod Mackenzie then accompanied him in a helicopter to Addenbrooke’s Hospital for further treatment

He stayed in the coma for several days, and the hospital for three weeks, following the accident on May 12, 2004, but needed prolonged treatment for his injuries.

He eventually returned to the college - now an academy - 15 months later.

The care he received stayed with him, and now he has finally thanked those who saved his life.

Cliff visited the Magpas Helimedix Operations Base in Wyton to see Dr Mackenzie and other members of the team.

Now fully recovered, it was an emotional meeting for Cliff, who lives in Ramsey with partner Toni and boys Henley (2) and Harry (1).

He said: “I don’t remember anything of the incident but I have been told about it since. Medical staff spoke to my parents and there were some very serious concerns.

“The full recovery took about a year. They placed pins in my leg and because they were delicate, and because of my head injury, I couldn’t go back to school for 15 months.

“I had thought about Magpas before, but the opportunity to meet the doctor came when I was doing a first aid course at work. The trainer was from Magpas and I asked her to thank the doctor.

“Then I was shopping a couple of weeks later and they were asking for donations. I told them about what had happened and they took my number - and I later got a phone call asking if I would like to meet him in person.”

Cliff works as a care assistant for people with dementia, and said that two occurrences in his life have played a part in his career choice.

“My mum lost her battle with cancer last year. Her care, and my treatment by health professionals, made me think that I should try it, and hopefully I will be good at it.

“I would do anything for Magpas in the future, either as a fundraiser, or training as community first responder. Dr Mackenzie was lovely and we had a chat.

“But whatever I say, it will never be enough to thank the team - without them, my children wouldn’t exist.”




Back to the top of the page