News and Media Survival Stories Archie's Survival Story I took a knock to my head whilst playing in a school rugby match back in 2014. I initially took it as a normal knock you get when playing rugby. But as the match continued, I felt a bit dazed so I avoided the main action for the rest of the match (I still made a couple of tackles which were painful). Following the game, our team went into our post-match huddle but I felt sick so went to the nearest bush and was sick. From then my memory is a bit hazy, but apparently I passed out. Fortunately, someone saw me and after a while called 999 to get help. Thames Valley Air Ambulance were called out to stabilise my condition and airlift me to John Radcliffe Hospital. I don’t remember the helicopter at all. Next thing I remember, I was leaving the air ambulance. I managed to walk into the hospital with some assistance. I had a CT scan which showed I had a subdural haematoma. The doctors planned that I was to have major surgery as my condition was not improving. But then very shortly before I has about to go under the knife, I became more myself and was able to hold a basic conversation. The consultant decided against the major surgery (as it was a very risky operation), and decided to wait to assess my situation for the next few hours. Thankfully, I got better over the next couple of days, despite having serious headaches and double vision. I had an operation to remove excess blood between my brain and skull. I remained in the hospital for a couple of weeks and spent a bit of time at home. Sadly, the incident happened during my final year of school which meant I had A-Levels to revise for. I had missed almost all the first term and I was struggling to concentrate for more than 10 minutes at a time. I tried to do as much as I could, but being sensible with my health at the same time. By the summer term I was felt quite good. With a lot of hard work, I ended up with an A* in English Literature, A in Geography, and C in Maths which I was delighted with. I took a gap year to relieve my brain from education for a year, and managed to get into Exeter University. I am currently in my first year studying Geography and feel like I am back to 100% and able to get on with my life normally. The only current downside is that I am unable to play rugby anymore. I accept that this is a small thing I have lost in the grand scheme of things as the implications could have been so much worse. I would like to say a huge thank the TVAA for their work that day. It is a shame I am unable to remember exactly what they did on the day. But considering that I was much better as I left the helicopter, compared to when I entered, shows they did some brilliant work. I believe that they were the reason I did not have the major surgery that night. I am incredibly grateful and I know all my family and friends are as well.