Patient Stories

Elain's Story

Elain's Story

Baby Elain from Aberystwyth was airlifted from Bronglais Hospital to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff on an urgent medical transfer.

Elain was antenatally diagnosed with congenital heart disease. The extent of Elain’s illness was fully diagnosed after she was born as Pulmonary Atresia, VSD and MAPCAs and chromosome abnormality 22Q11 deletion. Elain, along with parents Bridget and Gareth, enjoyed a short period at home, but at 12 weeks old Elain took a sudden turn for the worse and was rushed to the local hospital. Elain needed heart surgery at UHW Cardiff. Wales Air Ambulance flew Elain directly to the hospital in Cardiff the next day, saving over two hours on difficult rural roads. With the extra seat now available in the South Wales aircraft, Bridget was able to fly with Elain, making a big difference to the new parents.

Elain is now back at home with mum and dad, who have since set up their own fundraising campaign for all the charities that have helped them. Apêl Elain has raised over £50,000 and Bridget went on to represent Aberystwyth in the Olympic torch relay.

Nick's Story

In the summer of 2007, 12 year-old Nick was on a mountain bike adventure with his Scout group.

Bad weather and flooding had transformed the trails throughout the  forest and Nick slipped on the wet ground. He hit his head on a rock and
continued to fall down the trail, sustaining serious head and facial  injuries.

Due to the inaccessibility of the area and Nick’s condition, Wales Air  Ambulance was called. The helicopter was able to land close to the
accident and the crew treated Nick on the scene before airlifting him  hospital.

Nick’s mother Gail recalls the moment she received a phone call from her husband explaining what had happened, and her journey to reach her son:
“I’ll never forget the words, ‘Nick’s in hospital’. He was so far away  and all the roads were flooded, making it difficult for us to get to him. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare.

“It was such a relief that the air ambulance was there that day to help Nick. With the weather as bad as it was, and the extent of his injuries, knowing that paramedics could reach him and get him straight to hospital made all the difference.

Anouk's Story

Anouk's Story

In 2011, Anouk’s mother, Sioux, was carrying the 7 month old in a baby backpack during a walk near Llangelynin.

Whilst Anouk was sleeping, she fell out of the backpack and landed on her head on tarmac.

Sioux’s walk was close to home, so she decided to take her baby back home, and then deciding to call 999. Wales Air Ambulance was dispatched due Anouk’s age and the type of injury.

Wales Air Ambulance’s crew arrived and checked her over. The crew airlifted the seven month old, and her tiger cuddly toy, to Bangor hospital.

Anouk made a rapid and full recovery from her injury and is now 5 years old.

Raymond's Story

In 2007, Wales Air Ambulance was dispatched to Ceredigion, where a farmer was trapped under a trailer and had suffered severe injuries,requiring fast emergency medical treatment.

Raymond Murphy was moving sheep on his farm in Penrhiwllan, near Llandysul, when he was involved in an accident with his trailer, and needed urgent treatment.

After loading his sheep onto a trailer, the breaks failed, and the trailer full of sheep slid down a steep bank and trapped him underneath. The Ceredigion farmer was severely injured, suffering several broken ribs in the incident.

Raymond was trapped, severely injured, and needed help. Luckily, someone who was nearby heard him in trouble, and rang 999.

In the call centre, the team decided that, due to the type of injuries he suffered and the remote nature of the call, the Wales Air Ambulance crew should be dispatched.

Wales Air Ambulance flew Raymond to hospital, flying him to the most suitable care to treat the injuries he had sustained. After receiving treatment, Raymond made a full recovery and was able to return home to his farm.

Anthony's Story

In February 2014, Wales Air Ambulance’s Caernarfon crew were called to the scene of a road traffic accident involving a motorcyclist..

Anthony Baxter was riding his motorcycle when he was involved in a serious road traffic accident, suffering a broken neck and broken back in the incident.

Wales Air Ambulance came to Anthony’s aid and airlifted him to specialist care. Anthony made a full recovery from the accident, but had to wear a back brace whilst he recovered from his serious injuries.

The Computer Engineer and Sysadmin did not remember the accident or his flight in the charity’s helicopter. Anthony has become a dedicated supporter of the Wales Air Ambulance charity since the accident, donating whenever he can to help Wales Air Ambulance raise the £6 million a year needed to keep its helicopters flying.

Anthony said: “I will never be able to repay the debt I owe to the crew who saved my life. I cannot help but cry when I read about Wales Air Ambulance.”

Since the accident, Anthony has been able to return to normal life. Two months after the motorcycle collision Anthony attended a music concert whilst wearing with back brace.

Wales Air Ambulance can be anywhere in Wales within 20 minutes and can reach rural, hard-to-reach landscapes, conveying the patients to the best care as quickly as possible, improving the rate of recovery.

WAA is one of the busiest air ambulance services, and is funded by charitable donations. Each lifesaving mission is funded by the people of Wales, and each mission costs on average £1,500.

Anthony said: “I will do anything I can to help the charity. I donate money each month to Wales Air Ambulance and buy lottery tickets.”

Jon's Story

Lorry driver Jon was airlifted by Wales Air Ambulance after his truck plummeted 40ft into a ravine on the A5.

Jon was transporting timber from Manchester to Wales when his truck clipped a low wall, sending Jon and his lorry tumbling down an embankment before hitting a tree. The accident left the 27 year-old with a serious brain injury that paralysed him from the waist down. “I don’t remember the accident, I have a memory lapse of about two-and-a-half weeks, but I know I was in a very bad way after plunging down that ravine,” said Jon. Wales Air Ambulance was called to the scene, and after treating Jon, conveyed him to Ysybyty Gwynedd in seven minutes. Following several weeks in hospital, Jon regained the use of his body and learned to walk again. Jon said: “It’s been a long recovery but I’m very thankful and I count my blessings every single day.”

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