Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Survivors featured in TV medical documentary

Photo: Cora arriving at St George’s Hospital

A couple from Camberley who were involved in a serious road traffic collision are to be featured on Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E next week (April 1st).

The Royal Television Society award-winning documentary series continues from St George’s Hospital in London which has 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 and next week’s episode focuses on patients and families who try to look to the future rather than dwelling on the past.

Cora Ward, 62, was a passenger in a car being driven by her husband Rae when they were involved in a collision with another car on the A281 between Guildford and Horsham.

She was trapped in the vehicle for more than an hour and had to be given emergency treatment at the road-side by Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s doctor and paramedic.

24 Hours in A&E shows Cora arriving at St George’s where she was sent for a CT scan amid fears she had multiple fractures.

Rae, 65, was taken by land ambulance to the Major Trauma Centre with suspected serious head, neck and internal injuries following the collision last June.

St George’s registrar Sarah said: “With any big trauma there’s a level of heightened anxiety and emotion but if you’ve got two patients from the same accident and the same family, that probably goes up even more.”

As she waited for news, Rae’s mother Audrey talked about his twin Rodney who was knocked over by a car while working in the road.

She said: “When they told me Rae had hit his head, I’m afraid I just broke down because that’s what killed my other son.”

* 24 Hours in A&E is on Channel 4 on Wednesday (April 1st) 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, 23 March 2015

Schools' pilot scheme takes off

Photo: Air Ambulance mascot Dr Dudley pictured with pupils at Woodmansterne School in Surrey

A schools presentation has been launched to educate youngsters about life-saving charity Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

Primary and secondary pupils can learn about how the helicopter is called out, types of missions, landing sites and major developments of the service such as night flying and blood transfusions.

They can also hear about where the charity’s income comes from and how just £1 will buy a sheet of bubblewrap which is used to keep patients warm.

Air Ambulance Community Fundraising Officer Veronica Wiseman said: “Fundraising for the air ambulance at school is an exciting opportunity for children of all ages, promoting community involvement and social responsibility.

“The fundraising pack provides a fascinating study subject for pupils, learning about the infrastructure of the charity from the operational side and the way in which fundraising can have a huge impact on saving lives.”

The pack includes activity sheets, a Wordsearch and colouring-in sheets for infants featuring Air Ambulance mascot Dr Dudley.

Pupils may also get the chance to see a working replica of the twin-engine air ambulance helicopter which flies at speeds of up to 150mph.

The schools presentation was launched at Woodmansterne School in Surrey which has so far raised more than £1,000 for the charity after the helicopter was called to one of its pupils.

School spokeswoman Sarita Grimster said: “A very interesting and informative presentation was given which helped the pupils understand what the funds they have been raising will help towards.”

If you would like to register your school to receive a schools support pack please contact the air ambulance’s Community Team on 01622 833833 or email veronicaw@kssairambulance.org.uk.

For more information about the school presentation please visit http://www.kssairambulance.org.uk/involved/atschool

Support materials can be downloaded by clicking on the relevant Key Stage required with useful documents such as Booking Form for assemblies, a Student Sponsorship Form and a Monies Return Form.

Win a Mini at Fremlin Walk

Photo: L-R, Air Ambulance doctor Fiona Reardon, Pilot Alasdair Auchincloss and critical care paramedic Stu Plumbley pictured with the prize Mini

Shoppers in Maidstone will get the chance next week to win a brand new car worth £15,000, to celebrate Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s Silver Jubilee.

The red 1.2 Mini One three-door hatchback has been kindly donated by Barretts of Canterbury and boasts tyre pressure monitoring, a Thatcham 1 alarm system, ISOFIX child seat system, front foglights, on-board computer and Bluetooth hands-free function with USB digital radio.

The car will go on show at Fremlin Walk on Saturday (March 28th) and Sunday (March 29th) when visitors can buy a raffle ticket for the draw.

The Marden-based charity has helped thousands of people and saved many lives after attending more than 25,000 call-outs over the last quarter of a century.

Air Ambulance Head of Promotions Katie Eeles said: “The service we provide today would simply not be possible without the kind support of the public.

“The need for our life-saving service will never go away, and your support will help to ensure that we can continue helping patients who need us for many years to come.”

Tickets for the Win a Mini raffle cost £5 each and can be purchased online at www.raffle.me.uk. The draw will take place on December 15th, 2015, making it a perfect Christmas present for one lucky winner.

The charity is very grateful to Barretts of Canterbury, a Kent-based family-run business famous for its motor dealerships based in Canterbury and Ashford. It currently boasts six car franchises including Broad Oak Mini from where the prize car has kindly been donated.

Holly's helping hand for air ambulance

Photo: Air Ambulance Paramedic Lewis Price, Holly Crouch and Dr Ashley Hague

An 11-year-old girl has raised £350 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance in memory of her uncle.

Holly Crouch, from Pett Level, ran a stall selling hand-made jewellery and decorations at a craft fair in the village.

The budding entrepreneur raised a total of £200 to add to the £150 she previously raised by running the Brighton Mini Mile with her sister Lucy.

The Guestling Bradshaw School pupil decided to support the air ambulance after it was called to her uncle.

Proud dad Alan said: “Holly made all of the jewellery and decorations herself and all of her takings went to the charity.

“She spends a lot of time watching Helicopter Heroes so she knows far more about the air ambulance than I do.”

Holly met the air ambulance pilot, doctor and paramedic during a visit to the helicopter base to present her donation.

She was even allowed to sit in the back of the MD902 Explorer, which flies at speeds of up to 150mph, and watched as it was twice called into action.

Dr Ashley Hague said: “It was lovely to meet Holly and see such an enthusiastic young person show such initiative. Her uncle would have been extremely proud of her.”

Friday, 6 March 2015

Survivor's 4,400ft climb for air ambulance

Photo: Air Ambulance doctor Simon Wood and Liz James pictured at the Air Ambulance base at Redhill

An East Grinstead mother who almost lost her leg in a head-on car crash is to climb Britain’s highest mountain to raise funds for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

School administrator Liz James, 35, was driving back to work after lunch with her family when she was involved in a collision with a lorry on Wilderwick Road.

She also suffered a broken neck and broken foot and had to be cut free from the wreckage of her car after being trapped for more than an hour.

The mother-of-three spent 10 days in hospital but has since made a full recovery and is now planning to raise funds for the charity helicopter by conquering Ben Nevis, in September.

She said: “I owe the air ambulance my life, and certainly my leg. I smashed my right leg from hip to ankle and was warned that I may never walk properly again. Complications with blood flow meant that without immediate treatment I would have lost my leg.

“Due to the amazing road-side care I received, not only did I survive but I am walking again. I am aiming to climb Ben Nevis to raise money for the air ambulance, and to thank them for their amazing work.

“Please help me to raise funds for this hugely important charity who are on hand to help us all when we need them most.”

Liz has so far raised £1,147 and can be sponsored at https://kssfitnessandchallenge.everydayhero.com/uk/LizJames

Rebecca's run for air ambulance

Photo 1: Rebecca and her family at the air ambulance base
A seven-year-old girl has raised more than £700 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance after completing a 5km run for the charity in loving memory of her uncle.
Rebecca Slater, from Polegate, was the youngest competitor in the South Coast Run in Seaford and finished the race in an impressive 39mins, 55 seconds.
The Willingdon Primary School pupil decided to support the air ambulance after the helicopter was called to her uncle.
It was Rebecca’s first run and she raised a total of £709 which she presented to the pilot, doctor and paramedic in a visit to their base.
Proud dad Simon said: “She was over the moon and very happy that she finished the run and was telling everyone about it afterwards.
“When we went to the base it gave me a real sense of pride to see her handing over a cheque which was bigger than her.”
Rebecca has now joined a running club and is planning to raise further funds by taking part in Brighton’s Color Run in October.
The youngster is following in the footsteps of her father who will be running his second Brighton Marathon next month.
Anyone who has their own place can join the charity’s team of 20 runners including BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat reporter Ben Mundy, the Lady Mayoress of Canterbury and an air ambulance pilot and paramedic.
For more information please call Amy Hamer on 01622 833833 or email amyhamer@kssairambulance.org.uk.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Saddle up for Silver Jubilee bike ride

Photo: Riders setting off from the Air Ambulance base at Marden at the start of last year’s Double 100 Cycle Challenge

Hundreds of cyclists are expected to get on their bikes for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s annual bike ride this year as the charity celebrates its Silver Jubilee.

More than 300 riders entered last year’s Double 100 Cycle Challenge and helped raise a record £45,000 for the helicopter emergency medical service which relies almost entirely on donations.

The 100-mile and 100km rides start and finish at the helicopter bases in Marden and Redhill and will this year include a 25-mile route to mark the charity’s 25th anniversary.

Entrants can now sign up online for the ride on September 27th with the first 200 receiving an Air Ambulance jersey.

The circular routes combine all counties covered by the helicopters and this year’s event has again kindly been sponsored by Fidelity Worldwide Investment.

Vicki Haxton, Senior Manager Corporate Citizenship, said: “Fidelity is proud to be supporting the Double 100 Cycle Challenge for the second time in their jubilee anniversary year. We are delighted to support the Air Ambulance and help raise money for this incredibly worthy cause.

“The air ambulance is a vital service in this area and we recognise the significant contribution they make towards saving lives in our community. We are looking forward to many of our employees participating in the event.”

The 2015 Double 100 has also been sponsored by Howard Cundey Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents, and supported by Halfords, Warburtons and Bobby’s Foods.

The ride is open to regular and occasional cyclists including individuals and teams with free lunch and refreshments provided at feeding stations along the scenic route. The registration fee is a minimum of £15.

Riders will set off between 7am and 9am with free parking, changing and toilet facilities available at both starting points. Motorbike marshals will be riding the course throughout the day and there will also be mobile mechanics and a breakdown recovery vehicle.

To register go to www.kssairambulance.org.uk/involved/Double100 and for more information call Julie Clare on 01622 833833, or email juliec@kssairambulance.org.uk