Dom finally set for operation, two years after horror crash

Returning home after a night out with a friend, Dom Allan got out of a taxi outside his home. A driver ploughed into him, throwing him 8ft into the air, before speeding off and leaving him for dead.

Dom Allan from Stourbridge who was severely injured in a hit-and-run car crash in May 2019, is hoping to finally get an operation to insert titanium in his head to replace the skull bone that has had to be removed
Dom Allan from Stourbridge who was severely injured in a hit-and-run car crash in May 2019, is hoping to finally get an operation to insert titanium in his head to replace the skull bone that has had to be removed

That was May 2019. And now, this week, after four separate delays, the nurse from Stourbridge is finally due to receive the essential surgery that will allow him to lead a normal life.

Mr Allan, now 38, is finally due to go into hospital tomorrow(WED), where he will have a titanium plate inserted into his skull to replace bone that had to be cut away following the accident. But more than two years on, it appears police are still no closer to catching the driver who caused his injuries, and Dom feels let down by a system which has subjected a key health worker to repeated delays.

He says on one occasion he was actually on his way to Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital when he received a phone call, 45 minutes before the operation, to be told it had been cancelled.

"It would have been nice to have been given a bit of notice," he says.

"I had got myself ready, I hadn't eaten before the operation, and I had to get myself mentally ready, and got the body ready as well."

Despite his horrific injuries, Mr Allan returned to his job as a staff nurse on the coronary ward at Dudley's Russells Hall Hospital the following November.

But because of the delays to his operation, he has been forced to spend the past 27 months wearing a helmet to protect his brain. This, he says, has made his work more difficult. Not only has he found it difficult to combine the helmet with the protective clothing required due to the coronavirus – he also has to wear, goggles and a visor – he says it affects his relationship with patients.

"I feel like I am looked at differently on numerous of occasions by patients," he says. "Also patients get concerned about my safety due to wearing my helmet."

He says he has only been issued with one helmet, which makes it difficult for him to clean it.

Mr Allan was with a friend when he got out of the taxi outside his home in Brook Road, Stourbridge, at approximately 12.30am on May 12.

A speeding car crashed into him, hurling him into the air, leaving him with multiple injuries before speeding off. He landed on the pedestrian crossing outside his home, leaving his doorstep splattered with blood.

"I suffered multiple injuries in the accident including a bleed between my skull and brain, fractures to my forehead and my eye socket and a fracture to my knee," he says.

"I underwent emergency live-saving surgery to stem the bleeding and to reconstruct my damaged skull. "Unfortunately I contracted a very serious bone infection and very quickly had to have a second live-saving operation to remove a section of damaged bone from my skull."

Mr Allan spent five weeks in hospital and two weeks in rehabilitation before returning home on June 28, 2019. His planned cranioplasty will replace the bone removed with a titanium plate of about 10 sq inches. "Since May 2019, during all of my waking hours, I have been wearing a protective helmet to protect the area of my brain which is covered only by skin and no bone," he says.

"The vulnerability of my skull also prevents me from leading a fully normal life.

"I have resumed my career as a full-time coronary care staff nurse at Russells Hall hospital ,which has become an extremely intense and cautious one over the past year.

"Combined with my vulnerabilities physically and family-wise, I feel like I should have been supported a little more to help with my recovery and deemed priority by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital as I am a working NHS professional on the front line, caring for very vulnerable people whilst at the same time waiting for urgent cranioplasty surgery."

Mr Allan was originally due to receive his surgery on December 13, 2020, but the operation was delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

It was rescheduled for May, but postponed again until the following month, and then again until August 4.

University Hospitals Birmingham Trust, which runs the QE, says surgery for some patients may have been rescheduled on more than one occasion due to rising emergency admissions and Covid-19-related pressures on staffing and ICU capacity.

"We understand that this may be distressing for some patients, however we are doing everything possible to minimise the impact of these pressures," it said in a statement.

Mr Allan is also disappointed that after more than two years, the driver of the car which hit him has yet to be caught. He says despite being outside the railway station, the area was not covered by closed-circuit television. While he has called for CCTV to be introduced on the railway bridge near where the collision took place, this has come to nothing.

West Midlands Police says the case has been filed pending any further lines of inquiry coming forward.

Mr Allan hopes that the operation will finally allow him to move on with his life, both for himself, and for his wife Becky and young children Amelia and Elliott.

"It has had a profound affect on my family, my loved ones and causing mass inconvenience to my work places," he says.

"The mental strain is crippling our mental resilience.

"The operation will mean I can live a normal life."

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