A young man involved in a dramatic high speed crash on his motorbike survived thanks to his body protector, and the cardiac team at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Bradley Laing, 16, came off his bike at 60mph and hit railings, suffering very rare damage to his heart as a result of the impact. He also broke his collarbone and hand. His Kevlar chest protector was smashed in two.
As part of a top motorcycle display team Bradley is regularly involved in death defying stunts, but in February 2008 at a practice display in Beckton, East London, he came off his bike, resulting in severe damage to his hearts’ tricuspid valve.
One of the three flaps of the valve was torn from its attachments, causing a severe leak and making his circulation much less efficient.
Bradley was referred to Dr Graham Derrick, consultant cardiologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Dr Derrick said: “Initially a heart murmur was picked up by Bradley’s local services and he had been suffering from abdominal pains. The damage to his heart was very clear on ultrasound.
“I have never seen damage of that kind to the heart before, the crash must have been very serious to have caused it.
“The good news for Bradley was that cardiac surgeons at Great Ormond Street Hospital could repair the damage, by stitching the torn parts back together again. His heart is now working well, though Bradley will be under close follow up for many years.
“I think it is safe to say that without the chest protector, Bradley would probably not have survived.”
For further information please contact Hayley Dodman, Great Ormond Street Hospital press office on 0207 239 3126 or email email@example.com
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