04th Feb 2022
My name is Warren and in April 2019, my parents, my partner Richard and I were all in a car that had a head-on collision with a double-decker bus on the Isle of Wight.
Tragically, we lost my much-loved mum, Yvonne, but without the life-saving skills of Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) and other Air Ambulances, my dad, Richard and I wouldn’t be here today.
After a weekend visiting my parents on the Isle of Wight, we all got in the car to take Richard and I back to the ferry. What happened next was so unexpected. I don’t remember the collision with the bus, and only have a dim recollection of Dad having hit the steering wheel. I could also see members of the public giving Mum CPR. I remember asking Richard if he was OK but I could tell he was in trouble. When I came to again, the KSS crew had arrived.
Without the Air Ambulances none of us would have survived two hours on a ferry. As there is no major trauma centre on the Isle of Wight, and it would have taken two hours to reach one by ferry, KSS flew me to Southampton General Hospital. My dad was also flown there by Thames Valley Air Ambulance. Meanwhile, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance took Richard to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton. The bus driver was also airlifted to hospital and eighteen others were taken to A&E or cared for by the Isle of Wight emergency services.
Both my dad and I were in a critical condition and they didn’t think Dad would survive the night. He broke most of the bones in his body and spent four and a half months in hospital. I had head and spinal injuries and bruised lungs. I needed surgery to stop severe internal bleeding, had a staple put into my bowel and a metal plate fitted in my right arm. Seven of Richard’s ribs were broken, his lung collapsed and he needed a stoma bag fitted. He also had metal rods inserted between his knees and ankles and was only able to return to work after eighteen months of recovery.
Dispatchers, pilots, doctors and paramedics all have to be ready to respond to a major incident. Our lives were saved because KSS and the other Air Ambulances were ready to respond. Their dispatchers, pilots, paramedics and HEMS doctors are only so well trained, drilled and well-equipped for major incidents like these, thanks to your support.
It’s not easy to share my story, but it’s important to me to help raise funds for this vital service. Our lives have changed completely, but we are immensely grateful for the care we received that day. Without Mum, my dad is not the same as he was, but the fact he is still with us is remarkable. Richard and I count ourselves lucky to still be alive.
Donate today so we can be ready to respond when another major incident occurs
£35 could pay for a set of defibrillator pads, to help resuscitate someone during cardiac arrest.
£7.50 a month could pay for twenty disposable blood pressure cuffs used to measure a patient's blood pressure.