Billy Monger – the 19-year-old who was treated at Queen’s Medical Centre’s East Midlands Major Trauma Centre after a devastating racing accident which resulted in both of his legs being amputated – has received the prestigious Helen Rollason award, in recognition of his bravery and dedication to racing at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award 2018.
The Helen Rollason award recognises outstanding achievement in the face of adversity and was introduced to the show in 1999 in memory of BBC Sport journalist and presenter Helen Rollason MBE, who lost her battle with cancer during that year at the age of 43.
Previous winners of the award include Hillsborough disaster campaigner Anne Williams, charity marathon runner Ben Smith and last year's winner Bradley Lowery, whose parents accepted the award posthumously.
The clinical team –made up of Doctors, Surgeons, Nurses and Support Staff – from the East Midlands Major Trauma Centre – who cared for Billy in the days and weeks after his accident, were present at the event in Birmingham and part of this very special occasion.
Tony Westbrook, one of NUH’s Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons, who was Billy’s named consultant when he was under our care.
He said: “Billy is an inspirational young man who many at NUH have had the privilege of getting to know incredibly well. His bravery, humility, positivity and determination not to let the life-changing events of 2017 get in the way of his dream and his passion for racing driving is remarkable. Billy is admired by supporters across the UK and further afield for how he has coped since his accident and is a role model for many, including those unfortunate enough to had had similar experiences.
“It was an absolute honour for members of the clinical teams at NUH who cared for and supported Billy through his recovery to attend the Sports Personality of the Year. There is no more worthy winner of this special award and being part of this moment with Billy and his family, and emergency service partners, is a memorable occasion we will all treasure.”
Sarah McCoy, Staff Nurse on QMC’s Major Trauma Ward (C30), also looked after Billy as part of his recovery and rehabilitation after surgery. She said: “Billy had a great attitude and always had a smile on his face. He was really motivated and because of his own determination went on to recover from his surgery and continued to live his dream. We are really grateful to have been part of this special night and see Billy receive the recognition that we all know he deserves.”
Barbara Slater, director of BBC sport said: “Billy truly embodies what this award is all about - overcoming adversity and triumphing during times of immense struggle. I am looking forward to watching this remarkable young man collect his award on the night and watching his undoubtedly bright future unfold."
The East Midlands Major Trauma Centre is the busiest in the country with the strongest clinical outcomes. Since it opened in 2012, over 10,100 patients have been treated at the East Midlands Major Trauma Centre and over 600 lives saved. It is one of a national network of specialist centres which concentrate expertise and resources to give the best possible care, including intensive care and brain surgery. Ambulance crews are now trained to bring the most seriously-injured patients to the Major Trauma Centre rather than to their local Emergency Department. The catchment area the Major Trauma Centre covers is 4million. On average there are 18 major trauma patients admitted to our Adult Intensive Care a month.