By Humphrey Carter JUST 18 weeks ago, Dr Andrew Lyons was seriously injured while water-skiing off the Port of Andratx: he nearly lost his left arm and a huge chunk of muscle was ripped from his left leg, he thought he was going to die - but he is now back running four miles per day and yesterday thanked staff at Son Dureta for their fabulous work. Dr Lyons and his wife Francoise, a GP where they live in Sevenoaks, Kent, have made an emotional return to Majorca to personally thank everybody involved in the rescue and saving his arm. A highly respected micro-vascular surgeon at Guys Hospital in London, Dr Lyons said yesterday that, after the wonderful work done at Son Dureta, it's only normal after such important surgery to return and thank the hospital staff. It is hard to imagine that it was only 18 weeks ago that his wife lost control of the speedboat pulling Andrew, spinning over the doctor as he lay helpless in the water - he arrived carrying a travel bag in his right hand and clutching an umbrella in his left - the one he so nearly lost. But, common courtesy aside, Andrew and his wife have returned to Majorca to close the whole ordeal. I'm well on the physical road to recovery, but it was important mentally, to come back and thank everyone involved, close this chapter in our lives and get on with the next which will of course involve a family holiday in Majorca next July, the couple said. I felt we had some unfinished business here on the island, Andrew added. We have been in regular contact with all those involved by telephone, but it felt so inadequate. He still remembers bobbing around in the water with his arm hanging at a strange angle. I seriously thought I was going to die, I was losing a lot of blood and felt light headed, I was in the water for some 15 minutes. When John (their 11-year-old son) heard me shout help I'm dying, he leapt into the water to help me, screaming no! no! no! He was the first hero in saving my life, he cut the engine and managed to attract the attention of the marine biologists coming back from a field trip. They hauled me out of the water, their Zodiac was ideal as it sat low in the water and was easy to roll into and I was able to hold my arm straight, I had spotted a vein and didn't want to lose any more blood. I was rushed to shore and they made sure I drank at least two litres of liquid. Within 30 minutes of reaching the shore I was at Son Dureta hospital, the emergency operation was so well organised, they even stopped the traffic to let the ambulance through as fast as possible. And 20 minutes after reaching hospital, I was in surgery. The response by all involved was superb, Andrew said yesterday. The hospital has to be complimented and the surgeon with his team who, not only made spectacular work of sewing my arm back together which was an extremely complicated operation, but also prevented any further infection. They even marked certain nerve endings which needed attention for surgeons on my return to England. Uncomfortable and painful for Andrew, it was a traumatic time for John. Dr Francoise Lyons admitted yesterday that, with the two children to look after and so many things to take care of I just switched on to auto pilot, I guess I treated Andrew like any other patient and looked after the family. Andrew said that John was very traumatised by the whole thing and frustrated by the fact he did not see his father for five days after the accident on Monday July 29. In Spain, intensive care is a no go zone for visitors, so John did not see his father until the Friday, once he had been flown back to London. However, John has got over the ordeal, the situation being made much easier by him being nominated for one of this year's Children of Courage Awards. He and the other nine nominees will collect their awards at Westminster Abbey next week after breakfast with Tony Blair at Number 10. GMTV and Women's Own, who run the awards, approached us after having read about his ordeal and heroics in the papers, Francoise said. So that came as a huge boost to his morale and he's been getting to meet some of his favourite celebrities as a result. Chantal (their 13-year-old daughter) has helped enormously, she's not jealous of John in any way, just really proud of him. It transpired that John wants to be a doctor. All that blood and arm hanging off has not put him off, he's often looking at my operatioan slides, Andrew said. The accident hasn't put John off water skiing either and Andrew admitted that he too would get back on the skis if he could, but his left arm may not be strong enough. The surgeon is expected to recuperate 77% use of his left arm and wants to get back in the operating theatre before Christmas. He has nearly regained full use of his fingers, but the wrist drop nerve is still weak and while he still cannot fully outstretch his arm, he can scratch his nose. But, if propped up, I will be able to carry out surgery and if I can do it before Christmas, that will be a huge confidence boost for me, Andrew said. My colleagues at the hospital keep encouraging me. He has undergone two minor operations over the past 18 weeks, has physiotherapy three times a day. Even his Palma surgeon Dr Joan Femenias was impressed and pleased with Andrew's recovery, something Andrew says has nothing to do with his inside knowledge from being a doctor, but everything to do with the people involved in the saving of his life here in Majorca.