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Struggle to save van driver's life appears on TV

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DRAMATIC scenes showing how doctors saved the life of a New Addington van driver after an horrific head-on crash will be shown on TV tonight.

Tony Arch, of Brockham Crescent, will appear on Channel 4 documentary 24 Hours in A&E, which was filmed in March after the 59-year-old was airlifted to King's College Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

On March 14, the father-of-two was delivering pharmaceuticals in Hildenborough, Kent, when his Renault van was involved in a head-on collision.

He was trapped in the van by the dashboard and steering wheel, and had to be cut free by firefighters.

After being given emergency treatment at the roadside he was airlifted to the London hospital by Kent Air Ambulance.

The documentary, which involves 90 cameras filming around the clock in one of the country's busiest A&E departments, shows him arriving at King's. Doctors battle to treat a dislocated hip, smashed knee, numbness in his right leg, three broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

Mr Arch told the Advertiser: "The next day they operated on my hip, but that led to a blood clot which was heading towards my lungs. That's when the doctor told my daughter and wife it could be fatal."

Mr Arch, whose brother Dean died at the same hospital following a brain haemorrhage aged 17, was put on life support for nine days.

Doctors put a splint on his leg, and he needed 54 clips to hold his hip together.

Four months on, he still cannot put weight on his right leg, and Mr Arch joked that his neighbours have started calling him Skippy.

He said: "I don't remember hardly anything from after the accident until I woke up nine days later.

"I'm not sure I'll walk properly again, but I'm happy to be alive."

Speaking about Wednesday's programme, Mr Arch said: "I have seen the footage. There's a bit where the doctor puts my hip in a lock to put it back into place – I couldn't watch that.

"But the rest is nice to watch in a way, it's emotional.

"I can see how much weight I've lost as well. They say the camera adds ten pounds, but it looks like ten stone.

"I look like Jabba the Hutt."

Struggle to save van driver's  life appears  on TV


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