“If it wasn’t for the air ambulance, I wouldn’t have made such a good recovery. I am so grateful it was there when I needed help. It would be nice if it was funded by the Government and it is a big shame that it isn’t so let’s keep raising as much money as we can so the charity can keep helping other people.”

As a medical professional, Coalville GP Sean Ottey knows exactly what difference being flown to hospital by the local air ambulance made to his recovery after he suffered a cardiac arrest whilst exercising.

“It’s all down to time. Getting the right treatment as quickly as possible is crucial in terms of minimising damage to the heart muscle, memory and brain.” he explains.

Sean (53) was flown to Derby Royal Infirmary in just 12 minutes by Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance after the helicopter was called out to Hood Park Leisure Centre in Ashby-de-la-Zouch – where Sean was taking part in a high intensity training session.

“The air ambulance critical care doctor gave me drugs which helped my condition and the speedy transfer to hospital was crucial in the chain of events that saved my life.” he says.

Sean “felt absolutely fine” when he was taking part in a weekly exercise class which he had attended at the local leisure centre for the past 15 years.

“I remember doing a backward lunge and the next thing I was waking up in intensive care.” he says.

There is a history of heart problems in Sean’s family and despite him being a non-smoker, not obese and exercising regularly he believes “…it is inevitable that I would have had a cardiac arrest at some point.”

Looking back now he says that he “was in the right place at the right time” when it happened as the leisure centre staff were first aid trained and did CPR on him straight way.

If I had a cardiac arrest when I was out walking on my own in the middle of nowhere the outcome would have been completely different.” he says.

Sean spent over two weeks in hospital – 48 hours in an induced coma – and during that time he had an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) and stent fitted.

A few months later, Sean was walking up to five miles a day, following a programme of cardiac rehabilitation exercises, and said he felt “generally well”.

Since his cardiac arrest Sean has also moved in with his partner and welcomed a baby girl called Sapphire.

Our critical care paramedics and doctors are all trained to the very highest level. But the truth is – they can’t save lives without the backing of people like you. So please give what you can today.

Your local air ambulance can give lifesaving intervention that would only normally be delivered once the patient has reached hospital. For example, the critical care team can give blood on scene, be it in a patient’s own home or on the roadside, this gives the patient the best chance of survival. In addition to this they carry a wide range of drugs, and can perform some out of hospital surgical procedures, all with the aim of saving lives.

Each rescue mission costs over £2,300, but your donation today, whatever the amount, will ensure we help more people like Sean.  Thank you.

Testimonial author
We couldn’t run this lifesaving service without the support of people like you. It may surprise you to know that the government does not fund our charity. Even though we work closely with the NHS, we are not part of it. Every single penny of our operating costs is given by local people like you. We couldn’t get an inch off the ground if it wasn’t for you. We are literally lifted in the air by the kindness of local people. Mark Beasley, Critical Care Paramedic