A Ballarat father has had an emotional reunion with those who saved his life after he was thrown from his bicycle, suffering a staggering amount of injuries, earlier this year.
Mr Taylor met with Ambulance Victoria first responders on Friday whose professionalism gave him a second chance.
Due to the severity of his injuries and the pain relief needed, Mr Taylor has a fragmented memory of the events following the crash.
Ambulance Victoria paramedics Paul McNamara, Alex Morton, and Nathan Baker were able to recount parts of the emergency response lost to Mr Taylor.
"The first thing I noticed was Luke lying face down on the ground about 70 metres from the impact; we realised it was quite high speed and he was not in a good way," Mr McNamara said.
While Mr Taylor's memory of events is hazy, there are some things he will never forget.
"I remember really intense pain and everyone was asking me questions but I couldn't get my head around what was going on internally," he said.
"I remember begging for pain relief, almost bargaining for it; it was hard for me.”
A lot of it is quite difficult to remember and some of it I have worked really hard to forget.Luke Taylor, cyclist
He especially remembers paramedic Claire Phillips who sat with him through the response, bringing him back to reality.
"I remember she was always there, talking to me the whole time just trying to keep me in the game, that was extremely comforting because I was afraid, Claire was amazing," he said.
While Mr Taylor struggled to grasp what was happening to him, the Ambulance Victoria members were doing everything to give him a fighting chance.
"I remember the worst part was we couldn't get a needle in his arm," Mr McNamara said.
"We couldn't move him because he was in so much pain, we’d exhausted all avenues for pain relief and we were upside down in the gravel trying to get the needle in."
The cold May weather made things more difficult for the paramedics to give Mr Taylor the care he so desperately needed.
"It was a classic Ballarat winter’s morning and the challenge with that is the exposure," Mr Morton said.
"As good as Luke would have looked earlier in the day in his spandex, they weren't insulating him very well and the longer we left him outside an ambulance the colder he got."
"The colder someone is with blood loss can be a very detrimental thing and we got to a point where if we waited any longer, trying to do what we were doing and if we fully exposed him there, it would have had worse consequences, so the decision was made to move him."
In an extraordinary coordinated effort, the air ambulance was able to land on the road just 20 metres from the crash site.
Mr Taylor was loaded into the back of a road ambulance then into the helicopter in under an hour of first responders arriving on scene.
Mr Taylor's memory of the trip to Melbourne is also hazy but he can recall the compassion and professionalism of the paramedics.
"I know that from in the back of the ambulance they got the needle in then the next thing I remember was waking up in the back of the helicopter," he said.
"The guy in the helicopter, it was a beautiful gesture, he got right down in my face and said, 'settle, we are five minutes away, you are in a helicopter.'"
"That was a really terrifying thing because you all of a sudden became cognisant that you are in a huge loud environment and my experience was you still feel the pain but you don't associate it with yourself, it's so weird, so bizarre."
What followed Mr Taylor's arrival at the Alfred Hospital was 14 hours of surgery for a fractured pelvis, fractured femurs in both legs, fractured tibia and fibula in one leg, a major wound from buttock to groin, shattered elbow and humerus, bruised kidneys, split bladder, and broken ribs and vertebra.
While Ambulance Victoria members are used to seeing terrible injuries, the first responders to Mr Taylor's crash had only seen these types of injuries result in the worst outcomes.
The next conversation I had with police was effectively to ask them to prepare as if Luke might not make itAlex Morton, paramedic
"That was the way we felt Luke was travelling at that time, it wasn't that we weren’t optimistic, it was very much the seriousness of his injuries and, if I’m honest, the previous people I had seen with those injuries are sadly not with us anymore," Mr Morton said.
The paramedics were not the only ones who thought Mr Taylor might not make it.
"At that point I was terrified, I had seen my arm and in my mind I had lost that and my legs and then there was the cold," Mr Taylor said.
"I kept getting colder and colder and, you see it in the movies, in your head thinking ‘shit, this is it, I'm really cold, this is not going well.’"
Mr Taylor was placed in an induced coma for almost a month after his surgeries before regaining consciousness and beginning recovery.
Now at a point where he can walk, although with pain and hardship, Mr Taylor was able to give his thanks to the paramedics who were there when he was at his most vulnerable.
"Me and [my son] Alfie have a family life because of these guys, we have a chance to go on and rebuild from an event that has scattered both our lives and impacted everyone so heavily."
Choking back tears and struggling to find the words to represent the depth of his thanks, Mr Taylor was able to give a heartfelt voice to the thanks he had been overwhelmed by.
"It it's the most astounding sense of gratitude...people don't get away with what happened to me...it's amazing, it's really amazing what you guys did; thank you."
Mr Taylor has a long road to recovery ahead of him and is facing more surgeries in the near future.
However, he is alive to raise his nine-year-old son and will be able to move more freely as his body continues to respond well to treatment and rehabilitation.