COLUMN: ‘My life was saved by air ambulance’

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With summer upon us, more and more people will be out on the roads in cars and on bikes enjoying the beautiful countryside in and around Derbyshire.

In the last 12 months the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA) attended 569 road traffic collisions, providing a rapid response to trauma and medical emergencies and making the difference between life and death for many patients.

When Dave Farmer was driving in a remote location in the Peak District he saw a car speeding towards him on the approach to a bend in the road.

He pulled over immediately but this instinctive action wasn’t enough to avoid the near fatal collision that followed when the car went into the air, zig-zagged out of control and bounced towards him.

In a split second Dave’s car was in flames after the oncoming vehicle flipped and landed on top of it.

Dave doesn’t remember anything about the impact and found out later that he was pulled out of his burning car before the flames took hold.

He was unconscious and had multiple injuries, including a fractured skull and collapsed lungs. Dave’s condition was stabilised and he was fitted with chest drains at the scene before being taken by air ambulance to North Staffordshire Hospital in Stoke.

“I am so grateful to be alive. It’s all down to the quick response of the air ambulance which transferred me to the critical care unit where I spent a week. They saved my life,” he said.

Within an hour Dave was getting the life-saving medical care he needed and by early evening he had regained consciousness to the delight of his concerned family who were waiting at his bedside.

Dave is one of many people who have survived horrific road accidents due to the speedy response of the local air ambulance.

The charity receives no government funding and relies on public support and donations to secure its existence and raise the £1,700 it costs to undertake each of their rescue missions.

To find out more about DLRAA and read about other people whose lives have been saved by their helicopters, visit www.theairambulanceservice.org.uk.