Someone Saved My Life Tonight

I offer a hearty thanks to our NHS and the dedicated staff who work under immense pressure to deliver life-saving healthcare to people in challenging times.  They do say that cats have nine lives.  Well, I am now on life number three, after my second near-death experience.

I like to cycle to keep fit and was on a journey of 40 miles in my local area.  On my return, I was cycling along a track by the side of a busy dual carriageway when I came across a relatively small branch of a tree laying across the path.  It was not there on my outward journey and it must have been torn down by a passer-by.  In the split second that it took me to assess the obstacle, I decided that it was probably debris and opted to either run over it or move it aside.  It turned out that my assessment was wrong, as the branch was still very much attached to the tree off the path.  The branch resisted, spinning my bicycle into the sliproad.  I ‘bounced off’ the bicycle into a heavy goods vehicle, travelling at 50 mph with a hefty impact and I ended up laying on the slip road trying to attract attention before being run over by a passing vehicle.

The scene of the accident

Had I been even one second earlier or later, I’d have almost certainly been crushed by the lorry or the next vehicle, as the road is extremely busy.

Bad luck plays a part in many accidents, the unfortunate combination of unlikely events.  But good luck sometimes intervenes, such as in my case.  

I am grateful to my guardian angel and the skilled NHS staff who looked after me overnight.

Although I sustained six breakages to small bones adjacent to my spine, I consider myself incredibly lucky to have timed my ‘unexpected departure’ from the bicycle so well!  Even moreso, to gain rapid access to our NHS under impossible cuts to their services and pressure to perform from a Government that wishes to privatise healthcare.  From the twelve or so people I received care from, not one of them was of English heritage.  Many people in my local area are gripped by xenophobia, claiming that we can ‘grow our own’ doctors and nurses.  I wondered whilst lying in bed until 5 am in the morning “Well, where are these so-called locals?  They don’t seem to have grown their own”  Whilst there is a moral argument for letting foreign nationals support their own countries, I also get the point that some come to Britain to work in our NHS for a better life.  I for one will be eternally grateful for what others call ‘bloody immigrants’.

My first near-death experience happened when I was 25, on the occasion of having an anaphylactic shock in India due to a violent allergic reaction to salicylates.  I recall finding great pleasure in being alive afterwards, thanks to the skills of the doctor who saw me at the time.  I now look forward to living my 3rd life.


Peter Cook
Peter Cook
PETER leads Human Dynamics, offering Business and Organisation Development. He also delivers keynotes around the world that blend business intelligence with parallel lessons from music via The Academy of Rock. Author of and contributor to twelve books on business leadership, acclaimed by Tom Peters, Professors Charles Handy, Adrian Furnham, and Harvey Goldsmith CBE. His blends his three passions are science, business, and music into unique inspiring keynotes based on the art of storytelling. His early life involved leading innovation teams for 18 years to develop life-saving drugs including the first treatments for HIV/AIDS, Herpes and the development of Human Insulin. 18 years in academia teaching MBAs and 18 + years running his businesses. All his life since the age of four playing music. Peter won a prize for his work from Sir Richard Branson after his mother claimed he was a Virgin birth. He now writes for

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