Monday, 14 July 2014

Officer Cadets help to save lives

An Officer Cadet from Sandhurst who was seriously injured in a road traffic accident presented a cheque for £50,000 to medics from the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance on Friday (July 11th).

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 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 The Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst rallied round to raise funds for the Air Ambulance which relies almost entirely on donations.

Oliver and fellow officers Lieutenant Colonel Gavin Jones and Captain Martin Harrison were given a tour of the helicopter base at Redhill Aerodrome as they formally handed over their cheque to the crew.

Air Ambulance Chief Executive Adrian Bell told them: “Each call-out costs about £2,500 so £50,000 is the equivalent of being able to help 20 patients.

“But then you also have to think about the relatives, family and friends so that £50,000 touches a lot of people who are so grateful for it.”

During his visit, Oliver was able to watch the helicopter as it was called out to a road traffic collision.

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

Air Ambulance Doctor Emma Rowland and Critical Care Paramedic Jon Sanders carried out advanced medical procedures at the scene which are 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, the Academy 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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