07th Apr 2021
The first time I encountered Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) was in April 1990 following an incident that left my daughter with a serious head injury. KSS were there for her, airlifting her to a hospital in London.
I will be forever grateful to KSS for saving my daughter’s life. At the time of her accident though I certainly didn’t think that 28 years later I would be extending that gratitude and thanking them for saving my life too.
It was April 2018 when my accident happened. I’d been working up a ladder on my roof clearing the guttering of weeds, when I went to climb back onto the ladder it moved. I lost my balance and fell from the roof, hitting my neighbour’s wall on the way down and losing consciousness as I hit the ground. I remember regaining consciousness wrapped in a blanket in my wife’s arms, she was yelling for my son to call an ambulance.
My injuries were extensive. The impact of hitting my leg on the wall had broken my ankle and I had suffered an open fracture of my thigh bone – meaning the broken bone had pierced through my skin. I also had severe head injuries, suffering a shattered eye socket and a bleed on my brain. The land ambulance crew arrived and administered morphine, which is a very effective painkiller, but for an injury as severe as mine, I needed further treatment. KSS were called and landed in a field close to my home.
In preparing to carry me to the aircraft the KSS crew needed to realign my leg and place it in a splint, this was to help reduce blood loss and further damage to my limb. This is a very painful process, but the crew were able to administer ketamine, a strong painkiller not carried by the land ambulance. This also acts as a sedative and has the advantage of being amnesic, meaning I wouldn’t remember the very unpleasant experience of having my leg splinted.
The crew then had to manoeuvre me carefully out of my garden and I even had to be lifted on the stretcher over my back gate as the space is so narrow. Given my injuries, I was airlifted to King’s College Hospital in London, a major trauma centre that has specialist orthopaedic and plastic surgeons that could care for me.
Upon arrival at the hospital I went into surgery and I was unconscious for three weeks. On two occasions my wife was called to come to the hospital because they didn’t think I was going to pull through. My recovery was long and complicated. I remember waking up on the ward at one point shaking violently with people calling for help, I had developed sepsis. There were also difficulties with the metal rod that had been put in my leg that resulted in me needing to spend longer at King’s for further treatment.
Four months later I was allowed to come home. I still have some problems with my leg, particularly with my knee when it gets cold, but I know how lucky I am to still be alive. I am left in no doubt that the interventions KSS delivered at my home and the speed at which they transferred me to hospital saved my life.
After my daughters’ accident I became a representative for KSS and joined their lottery. I always give money to them, because I know first-hand how important these funds are.
Without KSS, my outcome could have been very different and I wouldn’t have been able to share my story with you. It is often said that KSS help to keep families together, I would say that me and my daughter are living proof of that.
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Keep Us Flying High
£7.50 a month could pay for twenty disposable blood pressure cuffs used to measure a patient's blood pressure.
£50 could fund 300 syringes used to administer life-saving drugs at the scene of an incident.