Four patients kindly share their stories of the day each of them needed the help of the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance crew…

Darcey Bacon

I am sending this letter to the team that came to my school on 6th March 2019. I would like to say thank you for the amazing work that you and the paramedics did for me that day. Words cannot describe the appreciation and admiration I have for all those who save lives every day.

I broke my leg during a trampoline lesson and it turns out that it was worse than the teachers first thought (a broken ankle). I ended up with three breaks across my tibia and fibula. To fix this, I needed two operations; the first being a Meccano frame to hold the bones together and then another to pin my tibia and fill the hole with muscle from my inner thigh.

I have recovered quicker than expected – I’m walking around but no more trampolines for me just yet! I probably need another operation in a year to reduce the muscle flap that the hole was filled with. It’s scary to think that it might not have turned out like this if it wasn’t for your incredible team. I’ve even become a bit of a celebrity in school due to the helicopter landing on the school field. Now everyone knows who I am, I don’t like the attention but I’m sure I can manage it.

I’m hoping to arrange a bake sale to raise money and my mum has started the Flight for Life Lottery as we believe air ambulances are underappreciated; you do not realise how amazing they are until you experience it. Once again, thank you for coming to my rescue!

Luke Wright

My family and I just wanted to let your entire team and the ambulance crew know how thankful we are for their amazing work in helping my dad on 15th June 2019. He had previously undergone major brain surgery and, while at our home in Fontmell Magna, he became unresponsive and had a seizure. Not only did everyone help my dad, but their cool professionalism put my family at ease that he was in good hands.

Having seen your crew attend several incidents, it only goes to reinforce how amazing and how valuable the work you do is. As an ex-pilot, I am sure my dad appreciated the bucket-list ‘tick’ of flying in an AW169 (it still counts, even if you are not awake). He was airlifted to Southampton Hospital and thankfully is now at home on his long road to recovery. Please pass on our sincere thanks to everyone involved, including the ambulance crews that were first to our house. Thank you again from all of us – Alex, Will, Luke, Lena and Hutch Wright.

Sophie Browne

On 8th June, your team airlifted me from the National Diving and Activity Centre near Chepstow to the DDRC centre in Plymouth. I just wanted to extend my heartfelt thanks to the whole crew, who were great at reassuring me all the way, despite the difficulties of communicating in a noisy helicopter! I had recompression treatment and was given the all clear the next day. It took a few days to fully recover physically, but I am pretty much fine now. The doctors suspect that the DCI (decompression illness) may have been caused by a PFO (patent foramen ovale) better known as a hole in the heart, so the next step is to organise a test to see how/when I can get back to diving. I’d really appreciate it if you could let the crew know how awesome they were and a huge thank you for the phenomenal service that you provide!

Tom Coyles-Gould

Back in 2016 I had a single vehicle motorcycle accident in Semley on the Wiltshire/Dorset border. Your team were so pleasant, professional and reassuring. They administered immediate pain relief for my broken wrist and surveyed me for any other major injuries. I was taken to hospital where I spent a number of hours and returned for an operation a few days later. I wanted to write to highlight that your service isn’t only needed at major incidents, it is there for us all. My injuries were not time-critical, but they could have been and you were there. You do a fantastic job, regardless of the circumstances that require you to attend. Thank you.

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