When John Venners had a road accident on his motorbike after losing control, he didn’t realise at first how serious his injuries were.
Paramedics took John to the University Hospital of North Tees where staff assessed him and he was diagnosed with a suspected shattered spleen which would need immediate surgery.
Consultant surgeon Manuf Kassem, who performed the operation, said: “John is very lucky to be alive. He lost more than half of his blood, around five units in total due to his injuries and continued to bleed from his injured spleen, we had to act immediately to stop the bleeding and save his live.
“He had a shattered spleen which needed to be removed immediately or he could have died, the operation was difficult because John had previous surgery in his abdomen that created adhesions blocked the views of the spleen, we had to make a cut of around eight inches in length and six inches in width.
“Thanks to all the staff who treated him – from the staff in A&E, to the team in theatre, to staff in the surgical ward who looked after him following surgery – he is getting better.”
John’s list of injuries included 70 per cent damage to his left lung, a tear on his kidney and fractures to his left shoulder, right wrist and left ankle.
He said: “It was only when I got home that I realised how badly injured I was – I collapsed on the floor.
“I was taken to A&E where staff assessed me and sent me for a scan. The next thing I knew I was being rushed into theatre for an operation. It all happened very quickly and I didn’t have time to think.
“Mr Kassem explained what the surgery would involve and it was very successful. I couldn’t thank the staff enough. The team in the surgical ward became more like friends than people who were looking after me.
“My wife actually had her spleen removed too a few years ago so I know what medication I need and what I need to do.”