Kettering motorcyclist is the face of WNAA fundraising campaign
A motorcyclist from Kettering is the face of the latest fundraising campaign for Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.
The story of how the local air ambulance doctor and critical care paramedic treated Andre Oliveira (33) before he was flown to hospital after a road traffic collision in September 2018 is featured in a mailing being sent out to households across the two counties.
The life-changing multiple injuries he suffered included two broken vertebrae in his neck, a shattered left kneecap, deep scalp lacerations that needed over 100 stitches, a broken nose, and a stroke.Andre had to learn to walk again after the accident. He was off work for over a year and unable to work for a time before getting a job in a garage.
He was riding his motorcycle at Barton Seagrave when a car suddenly pulled out in front of him and he had no time to stop.
“I crashed into the car’s wheel arch and my body hit the windscreen. My helmet came off as I was thrown across the road which is why I had so many injuries to my head and neck,” explains Andre.
An off-duty doctor helped him at the scene before a land ambulance arrived. Soon after that Andre remembers seeing the helicopter in the sky above him.
“That’s when I realised how serious the situation was. I was really scared but as soon as the air ambulance crew arrived on the scene, I had confidence in them and felt less worried. “
The WNAA crew gave Andre a Ketamine injection – a pain relieving drug that most land ambulance crews are not able to administer.
“I immediately felt more comfortable and relaxed. The crew put me at ease, we even had a laugh! They were so professional and acted so quickly to get me on a stretcher and ready for the flight to hospital,” he says.
It took just 13 minutes to fly Andre to University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire, the nearest major trauma centre.
He spent 14 days in hospital and was admitted again two months later for an operation on his left leg to remove shattered bones in his kneecap.
Andre is trying to rebuild his life and as part of his recovery, it was arranged for him to visit the WNAA base at Coventry Airport.
He was reunited with Critical Care Paramedic Mark Beasley, one of the crew members who attended him.
“No words can express my gratitude for what you did for me that day. I don’t think I’d be here now without the air ambulance. I know I was in a critical situation. I don’t have words enough to thank you,” he said.
Andre hopes that his story “will inspire people to make donations to keep the helicopters flying.”
“I can’t believe the air ambulance is a charity and receives no government funding,” he says.Mission’s like Andre’s wouldn’t be possible without public support. Your local air ambulance is helping to save more lives across its two counties and further afield – providing vital, critical care support to the NHS.