Crash survivor’s debt of gratitude

21st June 2011'Grandfather David Copes 'died' three times after an horrific bike accident and needed 40 pints of blood. He has defied the odds and built his life back together.' PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE

21st June 2011'Grandfather David Copes 'died' three times after an horrific bike accident and needed 40 pints of blood. He has defied the odds and built his life back together.' PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE

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A SOUTH ELMSALL man ‘died’ three times after a horrific motorcycle accident. 

Doctors feared David Copes, 60, of Cambridge Street, would not survive after he was hit by a van in 2007. 

He suffered massive injuries and needed 40 pints of blood but the father of five defied the odds and built his life back together.

He is now promoting the importance of blood donations as part of National Blood Week. 

He said: “If it hadn’t been for the kind people who gave blood I would not be here today. I owe my life to total strangers and can’t thank them enough. They gave me my life back.”

Mr Copes was riding his beloved Yamaha Bandit bike in October 2007 down a country lane in Leeds when he was hit by the van.

Luckily an unmarked police car was at hand to call for help. He ‘died’ on the ground but was revived by paramedics, and it happened two more times while he was in intensive care.

He suffered 41 bone fractures including a broken neck, jaw, collar bone,  broken ribs, split breast bone, and his right leg was broken in six places. He also had a split liver, damaged a major artery and kidneys and also suffered brain damage.  

Mr Copes’ family were told he would not live but he managed to find the strength to overcome the life-threatening injuries.

After seven weeks in Leeds General Infirmary’s intensive care unit he then faced 18 months of physiotherapy. 

 Mr Copes said : “I am stubborn when I want to be and can prove anyone wrong so this was just one of those times.”

 The determined family-man said his inspiration to overcome the injuries was to be able to play with his six grandchildren again.

He said: “Words can’t describe how it feels to have the chance to read and just spend time with them. It’s priceless, I can’t begin to explain what that means to me.”

“I don’t make plans now, when I wake up I am just happy to be here. I live for the day because you don’t know what is around the corner.”

He now suffers with his right knee and foot and has metal pins across his pelvis and steel plates in his ribs, which has left him unable to ride motorbikes again.

Visit www.blood.co.uk for information on giving blood or call the NHS Blood and Transplant service on 0300 123 23 23.