Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Survivor reunited with lifesavers

Photo: David Allen pictured with Air Ambulance Chief Pilot, Captain Blaine Ashurst at the helicopter base at Marden

A motor enthusiast who was crushed under his vintage Land Rover after it overturned on a country road has been reunited with the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance pilot who helped save his life.

Retired electrician David Allen, 73, was on his way back from a tractor club road run when he swerved up a bank to avoid an oncoming car and lost control at Harvel.

The grandfather-of-seven, from Tonbridge, suffered a potentially fatal broken pelvis and a punctured bladder as he was thrown out of the vehicle and it rolled on top of him.

He spent a total of five weeks in hospital but has since made a good recovery and last week (June 4th) met Chief Pilot, Captain Blaine Ashurst for the first time since his accident.

David presented a cheque for £470 to the air ambulance on behalf of fellow members of The Garden of England Vintage Machinery Club who raised the funds from a charity road run in his name.

He also visited the helicopter base with passers-by Julie Cripps, a senior orthopaedic nurse, and Hayley Ball who managed to lift the 4x4 off David and pull him out before the air ambulance arrived.

He said: “I’m overwhelmed really, this is the only way I could get them all together to thank them for helping me.

“Julie was on crutches at the time, having had an operation just six days earlier to remove tumours from her spine.

“She put them aside to climb under the Land Rover to assess my injuries and when she was helping me, her stitches burst open.

“She returned to hospital the next day where they then found another tumour so in a way we helped save eachother’s lives.”

Following the accident last December, it took the air ambulance just 10 minutes to get to David before land paramedics arrived - a journey that could have taken twice as long by road.

The helicopter’s doctor, Giles Moseley, and paramedic Sloane Philips then carried out treatment at the road-side.

Sloane said: “The air ambulance was first on scene so we were able to start carrying out our advanced treatment straight away. 

“Members of the public had managed to lift the Land Rover off of David so he was clear of the vehicle but he was in a lot of pain and we were concerned about internal bleeding.

“We ensured that David received pain relief and was immobilised and packaged appropriately, which is essential for helping to reduce bleeding and pain.”

David was then taken to the major trauma centre at King’s College Hospital in London where he spent the next three-and-a-half weeks before being transferred to Tunbridge Wells Hospital.

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833 or go to

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