Thursday, 27 November 2014

Survivors featured in TV medical documentary

Two patients airlifted by Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance after a fall from a ladder and a motorbike crash, are to be featured in Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E next week (December 4th)

The Royal Television Society Award-winning documentary series continues from its new home at St George’s Hospital in London – one of Britain’s most advanced and busiest A&E departments.

Filmed around the clock by 104 cameras, the series captures dramatic and emotional stories of love, life and loss on the frontline of the NHS.

Next week’s episode of the new series tells the story of two trauma patients flown to the hospital in May following the opening of its new rooftop helipad.

Eric fell four metres from a ladder while cutting trees in his garden in the rain. He landed on his side, walked into the house and collapsed.

The air ambulance was called and the charity helicopter’s doctor and paramedic gave him emergency treatment at the scene in Banstead before flying him to St George’s in just four minutes.

The hospital’s trauma team carried out a CT scan to discover Eric’s internal injuries while Margaret, his wife of 50 years, arrived with their sons and grandson to be with him.

Margaret said: “I kept telling myself ‘everything will be OK’. I knew I couldn’t start getting too bad because then they’d all start crying so I had to sort of keep myself composed.”

Eric is a cobbler who made riding boots for the Queen. “That’s as high as you can go,” added proud Margaret proudly.

24 Hours in A&E also tells the story of motorcyclist Mihhail who collided with a bollard at high speed on the M25 at Orpington.

The 29-year-old IT consultant suffered thorax and abdominal injuries and had to be treated at the road-side by the air ambulance’s doctor and paramedic.

Within just nine minutes, he was flown to St George’s where he was taken straight down the elevator for a CT scan to look for any hidden injuries.

Doctors were concerned that he had very serious internal injuries including a laceration to his liver and performed a “code red” emergency blood transfusion due to the level of internal blood loss.

He was then transferred to the Intensive Care Unit while specialists decided how to repair the damage to his liver and how to stop his internal bleeding.

His girlfriend Joanne said: “That was the only day I didn’t say to him ‘ride safe’. If I’d said it I think he would have been OK.”

* 24 Hours in A&E is on Channel 4 on Thursday (December 4th) at 9pm. If you would like to find out more about the Air Ambulance or make a donation, please visit www.kssairambulance.org.uk

Monday, 24 November 2014

Charity Open Evening in association with Club Le Mons

Club Le Mons and Let’s Race are joining forces to host a charity evening this Saturday (November 29th) in aid of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance and the Make A Wish Foundation.

Members of the public and their families are invited to join them between 5pm and 10pm at Let’s Race in Horley which boasts the country’s only full motion Formula One simulators, and enjoy the many fantastic attractions they have planned. 

There will be fun for all the family including children's race simulators, a Batak reaction time machine, six-track Scalextric, raffle and a nail bar for the more feminine guests, and much more.

Entry is free but visitors are urged to bring their wallets as they will have prizes, competitions and attractions with all profits going to their two chosen charities.

Organisers will be welcoming some of the children who have been helped by the charities as their special guests for the evening.

Among the drivers will be young former patients from Harrietsham, Cliffe Woods, Crawley and Worthing who will get to drive in the first race along with the winners of a children’s raffle.

Club Le Mons Charity Director Jenny Dorrington said: “Make sure you come along early to participate in the raffle as it will be drawn at 5.30pm and the race will be at 6pm.

“Our second race will see the Club Le Mons team competing as part of their year-long charity car challenge. To learn more about Club Le Mons please go to www.lemons365.co.uk. Come along and cheer (or heckle!) in the Grandstand.

“And then the Grand Finale, the ultimate race of the evening, will begin at 7.30pm and is another great way for you to get involved! Help us raise some money for these two great charities and win a place on the grid for your very own Formula 1 race.
“There will be two ways to win a seat on the grid. Five places will be won by those who have entered into our Balloon Raffle on the night.

“By purchasing a balloon for £10, not only will you get a Club Le Mons and Charity Goody Bag but at 7.10pm everyone will pop their balloons to discover whether the ticket inside says WIN or LOSE.”

Wannabe Lewis Hamiltons can also secure their position on the Let’s Race Grid by making a generous donation to the charities. The top five donors  will also automatically receive a place on the starting grid.

There will also be food and drink available and if you would like to receive any updates about the event, sign up at: www.facebook.com/clublemons

Tree of life for air ambulance

A three-day Christmas Tree Festival is to be held in Cuckfield next month in aid of life-saving charity Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

The event is to be held at Holy Trinity Church on December 12th from 11.30am to 7.30pm, December 13th from 11.30am to 6.30pm and on December 14th from 11.30am to 5pm.

A Christmas tree with baubles featuring the faces of some of the patients who have been saved and helped by the air ambulance, will be among 80 on display.

On the final day of the festival, at the 9.45am church service, Air Ambulance Deputy Director of Income Generation Bridget Pepper will give a presentation about the life-saving work of the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS).

There will be a carol service at 6pm that day with live music and refreshments throughout the three days. Admission is £4 but free for children.

Supporters will also be able to buy tickets this year’s Air Ambulance Christmas Draw. The draw will take place at the helicopter base on December 19th with a first prize of £5,000, £1,000 for 2nd, £250 for 3rd, and five further prizes of £50.

Funds raised will go to the air ambulance which receives no statutory Government funding and relies almost entirely on public donations.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Survivor featured in TV medical documentary

A Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance patient, who survived a 25ft fall from a tree, is to be featured in Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E next week (November 13th).

The Royal Television Society Award-winning documentary series continues from its new home at St George’s Hospital in London – one of Britain’s most advanced and busiest A&E departments.

Filmed around the clock by 104 cameras, the series captures dramatic and emotional stories of love, life and loss on the frontline of the NHS.

Next week’s third episode of the new series tells the story of tree surgeon Paul who was working in Sunbury-on-Thames when his harness failed and he fell and hit his head on a concrete pole as he landed.

The air ambulance was called and it took the charity helicopter 19 minutes to get to Paul from its Redhill base.

Paul, 38, was assessed and treated at the scene by the helicopter’s doctor and paramedic before being taken by road to St George’s, accompanied by the air ambulance team.

24 Hours in A&E shows him arriving in the resuscitation room of the specialist Major Trauma Centre where doctors were immediately concerned that he may have injured his spine.

Orthopaedic doctor Mike said: “When somebody falls you worry about the head, then you worry about spinal injuries.

“When the patient comes in if they’re complaining of pins and needles my heart always sinks.  It could be a sign that there is trauma to the spinal cord which can cause paralysis.”

A CT scan revealed that Paul had broken a vertebra in his back and medics were concerned fragments of bone could damage his spinal cord.

Paul’s wife Emma realised things were serious when she was told he had been taken to St George’s rather than their local hospital.

She said: “You think, ‘What if he doesn’t walk again?’. It’s horrible to see somebody that you look upon as big and strong and seeing them just going insane with the amount of pain they’re in. I just felt pretty helpless, but all I could do was hold his hand.”

* 24 Hours in A&E is on Channel 4 on Thursday (November 13th) at 9pm. If you would like to find out more about the Air Ambulance or make a donation, please visit www.kssairambulance.org.uk

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Survivor reunited with lifesavers

Photo: L-R Dr Leonieke Vlaanderen, Pete Philips and Paramedic Alan Cowley

A Folkestone handyman who survived a 20ft fall from the town hall roof yesterday (Tuesday) met the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance team who flew to his aid.

Town Sprucer Pete Philips, 53, suffered a fractured skull and severely injured arm after plunging from the Guildhall Street building while catching pigeons.

He was flown by the charity helicopter to King’s College Hospital in London where he underwent an emergency operation to repair an artery and restore the blood flow to his arm.

Pete has now made a full recovery and yesterday met Dr Leonieke Vlaanderen and Paramedic Alan Cowley for the first time since his accident last month (September 4th)

He said: “It’s been absolutely amazing and brilliant to meet them and I can’t thank them enough for what they did. I’m just glad to be alive.

“I can’t remember much about what happened so they were able to fill in the gaps in my memory. It’s a brilliant charity and everybody should contribute to keep it going.”

Alan said: “Essentially, we gave him pain relief and antibiotics to prevent infection to his arm which had a gaping wound.

“We were then able to deliver him quickly to a specialist Major Trauma Centre where he received definitive care which was time-critical.”

It took Pilot, Captain Kevin Goddard, 20 minutes to get to King’s where scans revealed Pete had amazingly escaped brain injury – a journey that could have taken an hour by road.

The father-of three, a former North Sea miner from Newcastle, spent six days in hospital before returning to his Bradstone Road home and is now planning to return to work later this month.

If you would like to find out more about the air ambulance or make a donation please go to www.kssairambulance.org.uk

Halloween treat for three-legged fundraisers

Photo 1: L-R Mollie Whitehead and Ruby Websper

Two primary school girls who raised £350 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance were treated to a tour of the helicopter base on Halloween.

Minterne Community Junior School pupils Ruby Websper and Mollie Whitehead raised the funds from their own version of the Olympic triathlon – running, cycling and a three-legged race.

They held the event at Albany Park in Sittingbourne and Ruby decided to support the charity after seeing the helicopter in action. Mollie’s parents also work in the medical profession – her dad Martin is a nurse clinician and her mother Alison is a midwife.

Ruby and Mollie, both aged nine, visited the air ambulance headquarters at Marden on Friday (October 31st) to present their cheque to Critical Care Paramedic Lewis Allam.

They watched as the helicopter landed following a call-out and were even allowed to sit in the back of the MD902 Explorer which flies at speeds of up to 150mph.

Ruby said: “I thought the helicopter landing in front of us was awesome. I loved sitting in the helicopter and I’m really pleased we raised money for the air ambulance. I want to do something else now to raise more money for them.”

If you would like to find out more about the Air Ambulance or make a donation please go to www.kssairambulance.org.uk

Monday, 3 November 2014

Schoolboy reunited with lifesavers

Photo 1: L-R: Air Ambulance Critical Care Paramedic Stu Plumbley and Harvey

Photo 2: L-R: Harvey Tagorti being presented with his birthday cake from Dr Davenport, Critical Care Paramedic Stu Plumbley and Pilot, Captain Dan Kitteridge

A Crawley schoolboy who was critically injured in a playground accident has been reunited with the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance team who helped save his life.

Harvey Tagorti, 8, was playing with his brother Dylan at a park in the town when a wooden beam fell on his head.

He was knocked unconscious and had to be put into an induced coma by the charity helicopter’s doctor and paramedic, to prevent further brain injury.

Harvey has since made a full recovery and yesterday met the air ambulance team for the first time since his accident in April.

He was given a tour of the helicopter at its Redhill base and was even allowed to sit in the cockpit of the MD902 Explorer which flies at speeds of up to 150mph.

The youngster was also presented with a cake after missing his birthday because he remained in a coma for eight days following his accident which happened two days before his eighth birthday.

Dr Matt Davenport said: “When we got to Harvey he was unconscious then he came round to what can best be described as being combative. He had a really severe head injury and he didn’t reply to any of his Mum’s questions or ours.”

Harvey’s mother Faye Hankin added: “I didn’t realise how serious it was. The paramedics seemed to think I stayed quite calm but I’m not sure if that was shock or because you just have to stay strong as a parent to help your child through this.”

Harvey was the first paediatric patient to be flown to St George’s Hospital in London following the opening of its new rooftop helipad.

Pilots Dan Kitteridge and Dan Vickers airlifted Harvey and Faye to the specialist Major Trauma Centre in just 12 minutes.

Captain Dan Kitteridge said: “If Harvey had gone to St George’s by road he would have been looking at about a 45-minute journey but we were able to land on the helipad with Harvey going straight down in an elevator to a CT scanner which was really important for his treatment.”

Following his accident, Harvey and his family raised more than £400 for the life-saving charity which relies almost entirely on donations.

If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833 or go to www.kssairambulance.org.uk