IT WAS the moment that would change Keith Douglas's life forever. 

The keen motorbiker was travelling north on the M6 when a catastrophic motorbike accident left him fighting for his life.

A car lost control and careered across the carriageway, colliding with the central reservation, but on its way, it wiped Keith and his touring bike out. 

He said: "I distinctly remember feeling an almighty wham and realising that I was in big trouble. Luckily, I was saved from hitting the Arnco on the hard shoulder by a caravan in the inside lane and apparently, I left a "Wile E Coyote" style imprint.

Basingstoke Gazette: The crash on the M6 in 2009

"Fortunately the human brain blocks your ability to remember the details of such traumatic events. The first thing I knew was that I was lying on the tarmac hoping no one would move me when I heard someone say she was a nurse.

"I have a vague recollection of being scooped into the air ambulance and being placed in a small white space like a cupboard." 

Keith Douglas, 67, from Chineham, fractured 13 ribs, broke his shoulder blade, suffered a cracked skull, cracked vertebrae and a punctured lung in the 2009 incident. 

But, thanks to the actions of the local air ambulance - he woke up seven days later in intensive care and he's still here to tell his tale.

Keith’s brush with death has led to him becoming a staunch supporter of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, to help future patients who find themselves in a similar situation to him.

He said: "It turned out that I was the luckiest man in the world that day and thanks entirely to the emergency services, I did not die. Apparently, that particular day was just not my time to go."

Basingstoke Gazette: Keith Douglas in hospital after the crash

Since then he's been passionately talking about the good work done by the air ambulance, hosting airbase visits for donors and giving talks to community groups and clubs. 

He also runs a local business networking group, which has donated £5,200 to the life-saving charity since 2019.  

He said: "When I moved back to Hampshire in 2019, I established a new business networking group through which I have met so many lovely people. One of whom was Jill McDonagh of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

"I had the time and inclination to volunteer for some while but I had not found the right role until Jill invited me to their Thruxton Airbase to find out more.

"For Christmas this year, our business networking event is being held at the Museum of Army Flying charity at Middle Wallop airfield. We have been able to get sponsorship meaning 100 per cent of the ticket sales will go to local charities.

"I genuinely enjoy meeting new people and being busy. Experience has taught me that if you do those two things with a positive mindset then good things automatically follow. My objective is a win-win for everyone involved." 

Keith said he hopes to welcome new faces to his networking group - Hampshire Business Networking - to the day on December 8 at 7.45am.  

However, he remains thankful for the air ambulance and for being able to still enjoy his life with his family.

Basingstoke Gazette: Keith Douglas meeting the air ambulance crew

Keith said: "Given our planet's global challenges and the immense problems that so many populations face, I find it extremely easy to be grateful every single day and simply to still be here.

"Hence I take joy in my family, friends, neighbours, the weather, the natural world and my daily routine."

Jill Mcdonagh, supporter engagement manager, from HIOWAA, said: "Keith is an amazing volunteer who brings a multitude of skills and an abundance of enthusiasm to the charity. 

Basingstoke Gazette: Keith Douglas today as he volunteers for HIOWAA

"He delivers a vast range of talks and presentations across the county, engaging people of all ages, helping them to better understand the vital work of their local air ambulance and what they can do to help in an emergency.  

"Given his corporate background, he’s also a brilliant representative to have on hand at local business expos and partner events."

For more on the networking event go to 

For more on Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance go to