A man who was critically injured in an outback motorbike crash has made an emotional visit to Orange to thank his rescuers.
Jay McNabb of Maitland was coming home with friends on a 5000-kilometre round trip to the Birdsville races when he crashed into fellow rider Sean Moran, who had hit a rut and high-sided in front of him, at The Marra, north of Nyngan, on September 10.
A Toll Ambulance Rescue Helicopter crew from Orange flew 90 minutes to collect the two injured riders and fly them to Sydney for treatment.
Mr McNabb said he spent 11 days in a coma and 25 days in intensive care at St George Hospital after suffering a brain injury and 19 broken bones.
He was released from hospital on November 28 and the two men have returned to the region to thank rescue workers and police for their efforts.
Critical care paramedic Peter Wiggins said they were first people in two years to come and thank them for their work.
He said air crewman Kylle Fenton, pilot Joe Cleary and Dr Julian Laurence were on board for the rescue.
Mr McNabb hugged Mr Wiggins as he thanked the crew on Tuesday.
"I've got a chance to be a dad to my daughters and a husband just because of you guys, very powerful stuff," he said.
"I've got a mate who's involved with Toll and he said 'you never get thanked, no matter how many babies you save, how many husbands you save, it's very rare anyone comes back to say thank you'.
"Well I said, I"m not going to be one of those.
"Everything has worked like a big well-oiled machine to save this life and I can't thank everybody enough so I'm on this tour going around letting everybody know just how important these people are.
"These guys here, they deserve the ultimate respect."
VIDEO: Emotional life-saving reunion
Mr McNabb said he could not remember anything of the crash, or indeed 70 kilometres before it happened.
He said he felt he was dying several times in hospital but his wife Cherie and daughters Suvannah and Mercedes had helped him.
"I went through some stages, this warm sensation comes over you and you are just ready to let go. And that happened to me four times," he said.
"There were no white lights, or anything like that you normally hear of. I just got this warm sensation, as if you were like clinging on a window sill and you just felt good to let go.
"But each time I went through that I heard Cherie and my daughters in the room and I thought 'no, I've got to fight this'."
He said he was looking forward to being home for Christmas.
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