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

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