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Celebrating moments that matter

This is a milestone year for us as we’re celebrating the 10th Anniversary of our Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland Air Ambulance. Founded in 2008, our local Air Ambulance services fly out of East Midlands Airport treating major trauma patients and saving the lives of those in need. We’re celebrating our achievements with The Air Ambulance Service ‘Moments That Matter’ campaign.

Over the past decade our fundraisers around the country have been fundamental in keeping our lifesaving services flying and attending rescue missions across our local counties. Without your fundraising support, we wouldn’t be able to get an inch off the ground. We receive no government funding, and rely solely on your donations to keep us in the air.

 

10 Years. 30,000 Missions.

In the past 10 years, we have flown an astounding 30,000 missions. It is near impossible to comprehend just how many lives have been saved or transformed by our lifesaving work. You simply cannot put a value on what that will means to a family.

30,000 missions is a clear demonstration of just how dedicated and experienced our team is. The lessons and skills we learn from real-life situations are fed back into our training, ensuring that the next generation of critical care paramedics are ready for anything. Going forward, the level of care we provide will only improve.

To celebrate the lives we’ve saved, we’re looking back on the ‘Moments that Matter’ to local people who have been airlifted by Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA). This part of a series of amazing stories of bravery and survival, against the odds.

Jane’s Story | The Air Ambulance Service ‘Moments That Matter’

One such story is that of professional musician Jane Gaskell, who fell unconscious during a open water diving training course. As she began her routine 12 metre ascent, a hitherto unknown virus stopped her heart suddenly.

When she was pulled from the water she was technically dead. However, thanks to the quick actions of first aid trained staff and an on-site defibrillator, Jane’s condition was well-managed until the air ambulance could arrive on the scene. Within 12 minutes Jane was en route to hospital.

At Leicester Royal Infirmary, Jane remained unconscious for four days, surrounded by her loving family. Playing on their minds was the worry that should Jane regain consciousness, she might not be able to play her cherished basson. Jane loved playing with the BBC Concert Orchestra and would be devastated if that was taken away.

Fortunately, Jane made a full recovery and was soon back with her beloved orchestra. There were cheers all round from her fellow musicians at the news. Jane expressed her delight: “It’s a miracle that I survived. To have technically died and lived to tell the tale and return to work is incredibly lucky. It’s made me appreciate life more and live for the day.”

“My colleagues, family and friends are exceptionally grateful to The Air Ambulance Service and all their hard work in caring for me and not giving up hope in trying to restart my heart. I really appreciate everything the fantastic crew did for me.”

To thank the air ambulance for the vital role it played in Jane’s survival, the 60 member BBC Concert Orchestra had a collection, raising a fantastic total of £750. Our work is entirely funded by charitable donations so such a donation was greatly appreciated.

It’s great to see Jane back on our TV screens playing at such prestigious occasions as the Last Night of the Proms and BBC Sports Personality of the Year. In fact, she recently reached the amazing milestone of 25 years with the orchestra!

 

Kieren’s Story | The Air Ambulance Service ‘Moments That Matter’

Like Jane, Kieren Brown also began fundraising after receiving lifesaving treatment by the air ambulance. At just 14 years old, Kieren was left with several life-threatening injuries following a cycling accident in 2013. As he crossed the road, Kieren was hit by a car and left unconscious and bleeding on the ground.

The East Midland Ambulance Service (EMAS) swiftly recognised the extent of, and serious nature of, his injuries and called for the air ambulance. Within minutes our crew was on the scene and doing all they could to save Kieren’s life. In this instance, road transport proved to be the quickest way to get Kieren to hospital but our critical care paramedic Danny, still accompanied him.

Once at the hospital, the full extent of Kieren’s injuries became clear. He suffered a major brain injury, multiple facial lacerations, fractured vertebrae, a broken long and significant blood loss. To give him the best chance of recovery possible, Kieren spent five days in an induced coma. In a happy turn of events, he was woken up on his 15th birthday.

That momentous day was the start of a slow and often painful journey back to good health, with Kieren having to re-learn how to walk, talk and eat. However, through impressive determination and an unflappable spirit, Kieren is now amazingly well. He’s even back on the bike!

Admirably, Kieren has raised over £5,000 for Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland Air Ambulance. His fundraising efforts have included a 100 mile bike ride, an impressive feat for anybody, nevermind someone involved in such a traumatic cycling accident. It has been brilliant for our crew to see how much Kieren has achieved and we feel a great sense of pride in him.

Looking To The Future

Always keen to do what we can to help save lives, we have big plans for the year ahead. Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and the Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance are both set to offer a 24 hour, 7 days a week, 365 days a year lifesaving service. In addition, the Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance will transfer to a more advanced base facility at East Midlands Airport.

 

We want to thank everybody who has supported us in the last 10 years. It is the stories of people like Jane and Kieren who remind us why we fly, and just how vital our lifesaving work is. We will always be inspired to see our patients moving on with their lives, able to create such precious memories.