A father of three whose heart stopped 28 times after a road accident today thanked doctors who saved his life.

Motorcyclist Steven Nixon suffered a massive heart attack when he was in collision with a car in Husbands Bosworth, Leicestershire, last year.

Paramedics at the scene revived his heart five times before he was airlifted to University Hospital in Coventry, where a team of cardiologists saved him a further 23 times.

The 44-year-old former warehouse manager also sustained a fractured skull, broken bones in his back, nerve damage and a broken right arm in the collision, on August 23 2009.

But medics in Coventry were unable to treat his injuries without first stabilising his heart, so he immediately underwent a procedure which involved taking a series of photographs of his heart to pinpoint the problem.

Cardiologists then fitted a pacemaker to stabilise his heartbeat and repair a torn artery, which had been causing his heart to fail.

Dr Dawn Adamson, a consultant cardiologist who treated Mr Nixon, said: "Steven is unusual because his heart developed a life-threatening rhythm disturbance that was not compatible with life which meant the trauma team could not treat his other injuries.

"I wanted to take him to the cardiac catheter lab to see if there was something we could do with the heart to help him.

"It was only when he was in the catheter lab that we found the main artery in the heart was torn and his heart was receiving virtually no blood supply.

"He is incredibly lucky to be alive and I am proud to be part of such an excellent team that meant we are all here today."

Mr Nixon, from Allestree, Derbyshire, returned to the hospital last Monday to thank the team who saved him, presenting doctors with flowers and chocolates.

Speaking today, on the first anniversary of the crash, he said: "If it wasn't for the treatment that I received at University Hospital my family would not have a father or a husband.

"I cannot thank them enough or fault the superb care that I received. They are a truly remarkable team of skilled, dedicated and compassionate people."

Since the accident Mr Nixon has undergone three operations, including a heart bypass.