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A140 victim is bang on target for gong

PUBLISHED: 05:18 13 June 2003 | UPDATED: 13:59 03 March 2010

A MOTORIST who cheated death after being airlifted from a horrific accident on the A140 has gone on to win a silver medal for Great Britain during a European shooting championship.

A MOTORIST who cheated death after being airlifted from a horrific accident on the A140 has gone on to win a silver medal for Great Britain during a European shooting championship.

Car driver Adrian Last, 43, from Mendlesham, near Stowmarket, was airlifted to Ipswich Hospital with serious injuries after the accident in Brockford, near Eye, which left the road closed in both directions. A lorry driver was also treated for shock and minor injuries after the accident on March 7.

Mr Last underwent scans and doctors realised he had damaged a main artery from the heart, rupturing several layers and it was touch or go whether he would live.

He needed heart surgery and was airlifted on to Papworth Hospital the same day to see specialists where he underwent an operation, staying in hospital for six days before being transferred to Ipswich Hospital for a further four days.

Paraplegic Mr Last said: "I remember everything about the accident, I was coming to the A140 to turn right and I got a spasm in my right leg. It came up and jammed the steering wheel and I could not straighten up. I fought for control of the car, but turned in to the path of an articulated lorry.

"This was a freak accident that had nothing to do with the A140, I could have been anywhere. I got through it, with mum's help. I worked hard to regain my fitness and shooting ability and the last few weeks the pain has been quite bearable''

Even before the accident Mr Last had been coping with injuries from two previous accidents. He was injured in 1984 after a motorbike accident on the A1120 at Earl Stonham leaving him paralysed in his right arm.

After a lot of physiotherapy and determination he regained use of his arm, his nerves grew back and he went on to take part in motorcross, suffering another accident in 1990 at Great Dunmow when he broke his neck, ruptured a main heart artery, broke an arm and was airlifted to the Royal London Hospital for life saving surgery. The accident left him paraplegic.

He said: "It's pure grit and determination that pushed me on, I am a person determined not to be beaten by circumstances. You don't give up. If you have nine bad days, that tenth good day is still worth living for.''

He said: "I am delighted, really pleased. It was slightly disappointing when I felt I was capable of even better, but this is the first time I have contested a title in Europe.''

The European Championship was held in Prague last month, with sportsmen judged for their performance during two days of shooting. Gold and silver medals went to Great Britain, with Mr Last taking the silver for the UK squad.

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