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The Chairman of Stratford-on-Avon District Council took time away from his civic duties to thank Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance for flying him to the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire for the urgent care he needed after he was involved in an accident in early August at his family farm in Bishop’s Itchington.

The accident happened whilst hay bales were being loaded onto trailers before being transported from a field to a barn. Councillor Christopher Kettle had arrived in the field towing an empty trailer and as he walked over to another trailer that had just been loaded, he was knocked over by a bale that fell from it.

Luckily for him the 500kg square bale hit him after it had bounced on the ground. “If it had fallen directly on top of me my injuries would have been far more serious and possibly fatal” he says.

The force with which Councillor Kettle was hit by the bale was enough for the replacement hip he had been fitted with three years earlier to dislocate.

“The ball came out of the socket. My skin wasn’t broken but I could feel that the joint was in completely the wrong position,” he says.

Councillor Kettle managed to make a call to the emergency services. As he was lying face down on the ground he didn’t see the helicopter land, but was relieved to hear it arrive.

The critical care crew assessed the extent of his injuries and, after giving him painkillers, he was loaded onto the helicopter on a stretcher for the eight minute flight to Coventry.

Had he travelled in a land ambulance, the journey would have taken just over 30 minutes by the quickest route.

“It was a very slick operation and less than four hours after the accident happened – after numerous x-rays and scans – I was having my hip put back in place, in the accident and emergency department.” he says.

After 36 hours in hospital, Councillor Kettle was allowed home. As a result of damage to muscles and ligaments he will have to wear a knee brace for some time and was on crutches for six weeks. But with the help of his Council colleagues acting as chauffeurs he was soon able to return to his civic duties.

He is very grateful to the local air ambulance service and its crew for being there when he needed help and has named Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance as one of his two Chairman’s charities for his 2019/20 year in office.