Thursday, 28 January 2016

Brighton Marathon team fly flag for air ambulance

Photo: Brighton Marathon runner Tom McLeish pictured at last year's race and running again this year

A team of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance patients, doctors, paramedics, staff and trustees will be among the runners raising funds for the lifesaving charity at this year's Brighton Marathon and 10k.

Nearly 100 runners will be putting their best feet forward in aid of the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) which is an official Charity Partner of this year's race.

One of them is biker Stuart Johnstone from Peacehaven who was airlifted after a road accident last June while another former patient is Michael Watts who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a BMX accident in Rainham.

 Michael, from Gillingham, said: "This charity means a lot to me and as a local one means so much to everyone we know in Kent.

 "I never thought I'd need them until last year and they were the first to reach me and I now know how much we all need them."

 Toby Hawkins, from Tonbridge, will be running his first marathon after his mother was involved in a road traffic collision while Nicki Mason, from Hastings, will be supporting the air ambulance after it was called to her son when he fell from cliffs.

 The line-up also includes Adrian Golding from Crawley whose brother was airlifted after a car accident, and Crawley News reporter Dave Comeau.

 Ryan Bingham from Maidstone will be running the marathon after his father was airlifted and Adrian Oliver (Sittingbourne) will be taking on his first marathon after losing 7 stone.

 The air ambulance team includes Dr David Hunt (Farnham), paramedics David Wright (Reigate) and Richard de Coverly (Cranbrook), nurse Emily McWhirter (Brighton), Governance Assistant Sophy Dunn (Tunbridge Wells), and Executive Director Lynne Harris, Lottery Manager James Cook and HR & Support Administrator Michael Small, all from Gillingham.

 Among the corporate teams will be Howard Cundey Estate Agents and Chartered Surveyors, market research company Facts International (Ashford), The Body Shop (Littlehampton) and finance company ABN AMRO (Haywards Heath)

 Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is still appealing for runners for the race before the March 4th deadline.

 All entrants will receive a fundraising pack including sponsor forms, support and advice from the charity's fundraising team, a training guide and an Air Ambulance running vest.

 Anyone interested in running the marathon on April 17th should call Lauren Elphick on 01622 833833 or email laurene@kssairambulance.org.uk

 For more information visit www.kssairambulance.co.uk/involved/BrightonMarathon

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Injured cyclist, 81, in TV medical documentary

An 81-year-old cyclist who was hit by a car in Tadworth is to be featured on Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E next week (February 3rd).

The Royal Television Society Award-winning documentary series continues from St George’s Hospital in London where it follows patients treated in a 24-hour period.

Filmed around the clock by 104 cameras at one of the world’s most advanced and busiest A&E departments, the series captures stories of life, love and loss unfolding every day.

Next week’s episode focuses on patients for whom age is just a number and tells the story of Bill, 81, who was involved in a collision with car while crossing the road.

Bill, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered head and leg injuries after he “bullseyed” the windscreen.

Redhill-based Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance was called and arrived within 21 minutes, landing in a nearby cricket field.

Bill was treated at the roadside by the charity helicopter’s doctor and paramedic before being taken to St George’s by land ambulance, accompanied by the helicopter’s medics.

24 Hours in A&E shows him arriving at the regional Major Trauma Hospital where doctors were concerned about his head injury.

Bill’s wife of 50 years was recovering from a stroke at the time of the accident and was worried about him cycling.

She said: “I do wish he would wear a helmet. His friend Frank swore to me that he would convince him he ought to wear one.

“He loves his bike and he thinks he’s good at it. I do worry about him, but he’s never stopped me doing anything that I wanted to do.”

Bill and Betty’s eldest son Billy was knocked over and killed by a car on the very same road Bill had his accident last May.

He said: “I was upset that someone as gifted as Billy, who could have been so useful to the world, was snuffed out just like that.”

24 Hours in A&E is on Channel 4 on Wednesday, February 3rd, at 9pm.

·         Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is one of the official Charity Partners for this year’s Brighton Marathon and 10k. Anyone interested in running on behalf of the charity is urged to call 01622 833833.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Biker reunited with lifesavers

Photo: Harry Cooper, Paramedic Sloane Phillips, and Grant and Sarah Cooper

A biker who crashed while test riding a Harley Davidson has been reunited with the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance team who helped save his life.

Harry Cooper, 23, from New Eltham, was riding on the Swanley slip road leading onto the A20 at when he lost control of the 1,690cc machine.

He collided with a lamp post and suffered two broken legs, a potentially fatal fractured pelvis, a broken back, broken wrist and broken cheekbone.

The air ambulance landed on the slip road after it was closed by police and the charity helicopter’s doctor and paramedic gave Harry emergency treatment at the scene.

Harry was taken by land ambulance to the Major Trauma Centre at King’s College Hospital, accompanied by the air ambulance’s doctor and paramedic. He spent a week in intensive care and was finally returned home a month later.

He said: “I was working for Harley Davidson at the time and I’d just finished working on a bike which had been brought in for a service and many alterations.

“I took it out for a test ride and went on my longer test route because I’d done extensive work on it for a few weeks on and off.

“I remember going along the slip road and hitting something and the bike slid out from underneath me. The last thing I remember was sliding along the floor and then waking up in hospital and people telling me what had happened.”

Keen biker Harry had gained his racing licence just a month before the crash last April and is riding again on track and road, and now works as a motorcycle breakdown technician.

Harry and parents Grant and Sarah recently visited the air ambulance base at Marden to thank Pilot Kevin Goddard and Paramedic Sloane Phillips for helping to save his life.

Harry is now planning to raise funds for the air ambulance which relies almost entirely on public donations.

·         Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is one of the official Charity Partners for this year’s Brighton Marathon and 10k. Anyone interested in running on behalf of the charity is urged to call 01622 833833.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Airlifted golfer featured on 24 Hours in A&E

Photo: Air ambulance paramedic Alan Cowley, John and Alison Willoughby, and Chief Pilot, Captain Blaine Ashurst at the helicopter base

A golfer who was airlifted to hospital after being knocked unconscious in a freak accident is to be featured on Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E next week.

Retired firefighter John Willoughby, 53, was accidentally struck in the face by a golf club at Deangate Ridge in Hoo.

The club hit him so hard that it snapped and he had to be given emergency treatment at the scene by Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s doctor and paramedic.

He was put in an induced coma to prevent his brain from further injury before being flown by the charity helicopter to St George’s Hospital in London following the incident in June.

24 Hours in A&E shows the father-of-two arriving at the specialist neurological unit where he was sent straight for a CT scan.

Orthopaedic doctor Arash said: “Whenever someone comes by helicopter you already know it’s time critical.

“Every second counts, you don’t get a second chance. Time is brain, those tissues are very sensitive.”

Doctors assessed the seriousness of John’s head injuries and were concerned that his right eye was not reacting as it should have been.

They decided to wake him from his coma but realised he was losing function down the right side of his body, which could indicate further problems.

John’s wife Alison said: “He was in the fire brigade for 32 years. He loved the adrenaline, the excitement of what was going to happen next.

“So much has happened to him, he went to the bombings in London, he saw such horrific things. To him it’s part of his job. He would put his life on the line to save someone. And then he goes off to play golf and ends up…”

24 Hours in A&E is on Wednesday, January 20th, at 9pm and follows patients treated in a 24-hour period.

Filmed around the clock by 104 cameras at one of the world’s most advanced and busiest A&E departments, the series captures stories of life, love and loss unfolding every day.

·         Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is one of the official Charity Partners for this year’s Brighton Marathon and 10k. Anyone interested in running to raise funds for the charity is urged to call 01622 833833.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Air ambulance lottery winner

Photo: Air Ambulance Pilot, Captain Kevin Goddard

A retired printer from Gillingham has won the £1,000 jackpot in Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance's lottery this week.

David Simmonds joined the lifesaving charity's Regular Lottery two years ago and thought nothing more of his £4-a-month subscription.

The father-of-three was shocked when he received a call from the air ambulance telling him he had landed the top prize in Wednesday's draw.

He said: "That's wonderful, the most I've ever won before was £25 in Premium Bonds and a chicken in a Christmas raffle at work.

"There was a canvasser for the air ambulance lottery at Coop in Gillingham but I didn't have my bank card with me so I got in touch with them when I got home, and I'm so glad I did now. My son is getting married in June so this win will help with that."

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance's Regular Lottery costs just £1 per week and there are 12 winners drawn each week with prizes ranging from £25 to £1,000.

For an extra £1 a week, players can join the Superdraw which has a maximum jackpot of £25,000. There was no winner this week so the jackpot has rolled over until next week and currently stands at £17,837.64

For information on how to join the fundraising lottery go to www.kssairambulance.org.uk/give/howtojoin or call 01622 833833.

 

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Louie, 3, featured in TV medical documentary

Photo: Louie at St George’s Hospital following his accident

A toddler airlifted to hospital after being hit by a car in Englefield Green is to be featured on Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E next tonight (January 6th)

The Royal Television Society Award-winning documentary series continues from St George’s Hospital in London where it follows patients treated in a 24-hour period.

Filmed around the clock by 104 cameras at one of the world’s most advanced and busiest A&E departments, the series captures stories of life, love and loss unfolding every day.

Tonight’s episode, at 9pm, focuses on children and being a parent and tells the story of little Louie, 3, who was involved in a collision with car while playing outside his home in May.

The Redhill-based air ambulance was called and arrived within 24 minutes, landing in a nearby field.

Louie suffered abdominal, leg and arm injuries and was treated at the roadside by the charity helicopter’s doctor and paramedic before being flown to St George’s, accompanied by his mother.

24 Hours in A&E shows him arriving at the regional Major Trauma Hospital where doctors were concerned that his neck appeared to be stuck in one position, indicating damage to his neck and spine.

Consultant Will was worried that he had not seen Louie move his lower limbs.

·         Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is one of the official Charity Partners for this year’s Brighton Marathon and 10k. Anyone interested in running on behalf of the charity is urged to call 01622 833833.