Cyclist saved by a baby’s nappy

GRATEFUL TO RESCUERS: George Nowland was  run over by a car on the A6 while out on his bike
GRATEFUL TO RESCUERS: George Nowland was run over by a car on the A6 while out on his bike
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A cyclist who was run over by a car has revealed how a stranger came to his aid by stemming his bleeding with her baby’s nappies.

George Nowland, 63, of Millcroft, Fulwood, Preston, who was on medication which prevents the blood from clotting, feared for his life when he was struck by a car while cycling along the A6 towards Preston.

The grandfather was hit by the vehicle from behind at a junction near The Crofters at Garstang and his bike catapulted under the car leading to his legs being run over.

George, who is married to Valerie, has spoken of his gratitude to the strangers who rushed to his aid following the accident - including a mother who used her baby’s spare nappies to dress his bleeding legs.

George, who has two daughters and three grandchildren: said: “When I was hit by the car and run over, I honestly thought my number was up.

“I thought I was going to bleed to death in the road, but passing motorists stopped their cars and rushed to help me.

“I must have lost consciousness as I recall the car driving over my legs and feeling the pain and the next thing I remember is hearing a woman’s voice saying ‘Don’t worry, keep still, help is on it’s way.’”

George, a retired BAE Systems worker, has been a racing cyclist for more than 40 years.

More than a year ago, he began experiencing problems with his heart rate going very high and out of sync and had to have his heart re-booted twice.

His cycling accident happened on Sunday September 2, just days before he was due to be admitted to Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester for an operation to resolve the problem.

In preparation for the procedure, George was put on the drug Warfarin, which thins the blood and increases the time it takes to clot.

As a result, George was warned by doctors to go straight to hospital even if he cut himself shaving as the bleeding might not stop.

George said: “When I was lying on the road, I could feel the blood pumping out of my leg and at the time, I thought I was going to die.

“I remember thinking that I might never see my family again and all these horrible scenarios go through your head.

“Police officers who attended the scene later told me that when they saw the mangled remains of my bike, they thought they would be dealing with a fatality.”

Passing motorists who saw George on the road stopped their cars and came to his aid.

George does not know who the kind strangers were, but remembers hearing the voices of a man and two women - including the mum who used nappies to stem his bleeding.

He said: “There was a man there who used my mobile phone to call my wife and there was a woman who spoke to me and reassured me and then another lady who used one of her baby’s nappies to press on my wound to try to stop the bleeding.

“I could feel the blood gushing out of my ankle and I heard her say: ‘Get me another nappy, this one’s full’. I think she used three nappies altogether.

“I want to thank these mystery strangers who helped me for their kindness.

“Everyone from the passers-by to the paramedics, police and hospital staff, were all brilliant in the way they cared for me.

“People went out of their way to help me and it made me realise that the world is not all bad.

“I feel very grateful and lucky to be alive.”

George was taken to the Royal Preston Hospital where he had his leg treated and stitches to his arm. Luckily, tests revealed he had not broken any bones.

Days later, he underwent surgery at Wythenshawe to correct his heart problem and has made a good recovery.

He is still going to hospital every couple of days to have his leg wound dressed.

A police spokesman said of the incident on September 2: “The driver failed to see the cyclist and pulled out of a junction into his path. Fortunately the cyclist only received cuts, however he was very lucky not to have been more seriously hurt. The driver in this case was not prosecuted as he decided to surrender his licence.

“I would urge drivers to make sure they look properly at all times for all road users, particularly cyclists as they are often the most vulnerable.”