Friday, 23 May 2014

Officer Cadets help save 20 lives with Air Ambulance donation

Officer Cadets at The Royal Military Academy have raised £50,000 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance after a fellow officer’s life was saved by the charity helicopter.

Oliver Thorn, 25, was on his way to meet friends at the Henley Regatta when his motorbike was in collision with a car on the A25 at at Clandon.

He suffered multiple injuries and had to be given emergency life-saving treatment at the road-side by the helicopter’s doctor and critical care paramedic.

Following the accident, which left him paralysed, Oliver’s colleagues at Sandhurst rallied round and decided to raise funds for the Air Ambulance.

Each flying mission costs about £2,500 so the fantastic sum they have raised will help potentially save a further 20 lives.

Oliver said: “This is absolutely phenomenal news because the Air Ambulance did so much for me. By being able to get to the scene so quickly, treating me at the road-side, and then airlifting me to a major trauma centre, it did actually save my life.

“To see Sandhurst recognise that and support this very worthy charity, it means a lot to me personally.”

Oliver, from Dorking, had just started a 44-week commissioning course at The Royal Military Academy following a gruelling two-year application process, when the accident happened in June, 2012.

Air Ambulance doctor Emma Rowland and Critical Care Paramedic Jon Sanders carried out advanced medical procedures usually performed only in hospital.

Pilot, Captain Pete Driver, then flew Oliver to the Royal London Hospital where scans revealed he had suffered a total of 36 broken bones including a broken back.

Every year, the Commandant of The Royal Military Academy chairs a committee which selects a number of charities to benefit from the Academy’s help, allowing officer cadets to gain experience in fundraising.

Last year, they held a number of events including charity balls, open days, raffles and sponsored challenges. The funds raised were shared among the Commandant’s chosen charities including the Air Ambulance which relies almost entirely on public donations.

Oliver is still undergoing rehabilitation at Headley Court and is a member of the Combined Services Disabled Ski Team.

He has already started training for the 2018 Winter Paralympics in South Korea and is also planning to hand-cycle from London to Paris.

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