TWO men who both owe their lives to A&E staff at Airedale Hospital were guests at the preview launch of the hospital’s new emergency facility this week.

Gareth Scott and Martin Quirk were treated in Airedale’s temporary emergency department earlier this year, which operated while work on the new wing was being completed.

Mr Scott, 33, from Beechcliffe, visited the unit earlier this autumn while suffering from a severe asthma attack.

Unfortunately, he had no idea he was allergic to penicillin, so went into an anaphylactic shock as soon as he was given medication.

Airedale staff had to put him into an induced coma for 22 hours, and he ended up in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

Mr Scott, who has recovered from his ordeal, said the first he knew of what had happened was when he woke up from the coma.

He said: “The A&E team saved my life – I am so lucky to be alive. If I’d taken that medicine at home I would have died.

“I was given an injection and about ten seconds later I passed out. I was very confused when I woke up – I’d no idea what had happened to me.

“They were brilliant with my partner, Philippa, when she was upset and explained everything that was going on.

“I’d gone into hospital on the Sunday and I was back home by Friday.

“I still go for regular check-ups with a respiratory nurse but my asthma is now under control.”

Mr Quirk, 48, is a father-of two from Halifax, who attended Monday’s preview launch with his partner, Dawn Bracewell.

Even before he was injured he was already familiar with the new emergency department, as he is head of technical services at Airedale.

Mr Quirk was treated in the temporary department after a serious accident on his vintage motorcycle in Embsay in June.

He suffered internal bleeding, fractures to his neck, pelvis, collarbone, scapula and ribs.

He said: “The Airedale team comforted and kept my partner and family informed on my progress throughout this critical time, during which I was given 18 units of blood while the internal bleeding was stopped and my pelvis was pinned.

“I was later transferred to Leeds, but the A&E team and theatre staff at Airedale saved my life, for which I am eternally grateful. They were marvellous.

“I’ve worked in estates for 20 years and I always say to my lads, ‘what we do here has got to be right – it could be our friends, relatives or even ourselves who end up being treated here’.”

lWhat do you think? E-mail or write to the Keighley News, 80-86 North Street, Keighley, West Yorkshire BD21 3AG.

l See page 27 for photos from the launch of the new emergency department.