William Dowie was enjoying a drive on one of Perthshire’s picturesque country roads when his accident occurred.
Travelling to his home in Auchterarder in his classic convertible sports car, a roe deer leaped from the side of the road directly into his path, crashing onto his chest.
Spinning out of control, he crashed into a tree. The Scottish Air Ambulance was scrambled to the scene, where a doctor put him into a controlled coma.
Sixty-five days later, he woke up in Ninewells intensive care.
Mr Dowie shared his story with The Courier on Monday, at the launch of Ninewells’ new major trauma centre.
The 60-year-old Auchterarder resident said he could not thank the staff who saved him enough and said the aftercare trauma patients receive is as important as the initial medical rescue.
He added: “I had my accident on May 14, 2017, a day I will never forget. What these new trauma centres are going to be able to do, and the support they will be able to give patients like me is absolutely excellent.
“Treatment and care for people after they have (physically) recovered is what needs to be built up now, the aftercare people will now receive will match the excellent care trauma patients get from the wonderful doctors and nurses at the start.
“At first you are stitched up back together, but it can be daunting being left in a bed to recover, the support you can get really does help with recovery.
“The doctors and nurses, they will come up and ask how you are doing, it all helps.
“Now, with these centres, patients will still have someone to turn to two or three years after the traumatic incident has taken place.”
His sentiments were echoed by the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who said psychological care would be made a priority at trauma centres.
She said: “William’s story, for me, underlined the importance of this coordinated approach to trauma care – they are being treated right from the scene at the moment the accident happens to the full recovery.
“I suppose if there is one thing I would take away is how important, we focus a lot on the discussions around clinical care (trauma) patients get.
“What these patients said was when they leave the hospital and they are still in their rehabilitation stage, it is psychological support they need, so we need to make sure we give as much priority to this as we do clinical care and that was something William put across quite strongly.”