A RECOVERING drug addict whose resolve to stay clean was strengthened after nearly bleeding to death on the roadside will speak about the ordeal in a television documentary this weekend.

Shane Telford would have died were it not for the efforts of his mother, Jean Telford, two passing police officers and the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) last July.

The father-of-one, from Tow Law, was driving to Bishop Auckland to help Mrs Telford with the shopping when he suffered a major bleed from his femoral artery, the main arterial supply to the leg.

Mrs Telford, a retired nurse, described trying to stem a “fountain of blood reaching higher than the car” on the roadside near Fir Tree. She was assisted by passing police officers PC Tony Barker and David Taylor, of Durham Police, who applied pressure to the bleed for 30 minutes, and a GNAAS team led by Dr Dion Arbid.

A TV crew shadowing the GNAAS captured the terrifying incident on camera and, at 9pm on Sunday, it will be featured on the More4 documentary series Emergency Helicopter Medics.

Post watershed, the documentary contains graphic footage from the scene, along with interviews with Mrs Telford and her son filmed later that year.

In the interview, Mr Telford talks about how grateful he is to be alive and to be there for his daughter.

The 38-year-old has been battling heroin addiction since he was in his 20s, and has suffered from abscesses over the years. He was in recovery at the time of the incident and remains committed to rebuilding his life.

Last night, Mrs Telford, 73, said the incident had had a big impact on the family.

“One thing I did say to Shane at the time is ‘you have been reborn. You could have died but you didn’t and there has to be a purpose for it.

“He has been off drugs for more than two years now and he is doing well. It’s been really hard though.”

The family’s troubles did not end with Mr Telford’s ordeal. Earlier this year, Mrs Telford’s beloved husband, Edward, died following a long battle with cancer.

The grandmother-of-five, who also has one great-grandchild, said: “I couldn’t have got through it without Shane. He helped me care for Ed. He has been my rock.”

Following the incident, Mrs Telford received a regional ‘champion mum’ award in recognition of the part she played in saving her son’s life. PC Barker and PC Taylor were also awarded Certificates of Commendation from the Royal Humane Society.

GNAAS director of operations, paramedic Andy Mawson, who attended the incident, praised Mrs Telford and the police officers for their lifesaving actions.

“We are acutely aware that for every patient is a wider network of family and friends that are also suffering,” he said. “I’m just glad we could be there for Shane so that he in turn can be there for his mum and daughter. The family have come through such a lot and we respect them for talking about this difficult time. We’d love to invite them down our base to meet the crew and see the helicopter in much happier circumstances.”