A north-east doctor believes he could have lost his leg if not for a life-saving charity which flew to his rescue.
Dr Neil Campbell was cycling down a hill near Tornaveen, near Lumphanan, when he collided with another member of his bike club and landed awkwardly on his right thigh.
The Torphins GP suffered a shattered femur and watched as his leg began to immediately balloon “like a tree trunk”.
Had he not received treatment promptly, there was a “real risk” that the wounded limb could ultimately have to be amputated.
The 53-year-old now considers himself lucky that he was whisked from the rural spot to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA).
Dr Campbell said: “You don’t have to be a doctor to know you have broken a bone, and I knew as soon as I landed and heard it crunch.
“It totally recalibrated my idea of pain, a fractured femur is supposed to be as painful as it gets and this was horrific.
“As I was sitting there my thigh was blowing up like a tree trunk, and I began to lose circulation to my foot.
“If you lose circulation in a leg for as little as 20 minutes you might lose it.
“And I was losing an enormous amount of blood into my thigh, I lost five to six pints during the incident and the following operation.”
Dr Campbell praised his fellow cyclists for delivering a “masterclass in first aid”, as they applied traction under his instruction and managed to return circulation to the injured limb.
The injury was considered so serious that the nation’s charity air ambulance was scrambled from Perthshire in addition to a local road ambulance.
Given his level of discomfort, the medic was relieved to be taken to hospital in the helicopter rather than 22 miles via the road.
He said: “The paramedics gave me more morphine than I have ever given out in my life as they applied a traction splint, but it didn’t make the blindest bit of difference.
“Every movement was still awful, so having such a quick and smooth journey to hospital was appreciated.
“I need to thank the SCAA paramedics for getting me there so quickly while my leg was in danger, and for making the trip far less painful than it could have been.”
Surgeons discovered that Dr Campbell’s femur was broken in three places, and used titanium to repair his leg.
The accident took place in August 2016, and the dedicated GP praised his colleagues at the small practice for working tirelessly to keep things running until he was able to return full-time last June.
Dr Campbell documented his rehabilitation in a Youtube video, where he made ingenious use of a children’s train set to support his injured leg.