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Mansfield motorcyclist is face of local air ambulance fundraising campaign

Mansfield motorcyclist is face of local air ambulance fundraising campaign

A motorcyclist from Mansfield, who was airlifted by Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA), is the face of the charity’s 2020 summer fundraising campaign.

Debs Morley sustained multiple injuries, including major burns, when she was wedged under a car after being involved in a road traffic collision at the junction of the A6 and B6012 near Rowsley, Derbyshire in February last year.

During what she describes as “the longest 20 minutes of my life” until the Fire Service lifted the car off her using specialist lifting bags, she couldn’t move.

She was in excruciating pain as she felt the skin on her right ankle being burnt by the heat from her bike’s exhaust pipe.

By the time Debs (58) was freed, her ankle had been burnt right down to the bone. She had suffered a fracture to her right leg under the knee, two fractured bones in her right foot and two fractures in her right thumb.

She says:

“I believe it is important to share my story to highlight the fantastic work of the local air ambulance charity. They were first on scene when I had my accident, gave me pain relief and lots of reassurance.”

“I still struggle to believe this service is not funded and has to rely on donations and fundraising. As someone who has been on the receiving end of their care and treatment, I want to highlight what an amazing role they play. I will always be grateful for what they did for me.”

Appeal letters featuring Debs’s patient story are being delivered to thousands of local households. Recipients are being asked to make a donation which will be doubled by an anonymous donor – up to a total amount of £90,000.

Debs says:

“The charity has lost over £2 million during the lockdown so it is more important than ever for people to support it if they can, especially as for this appeal donations are being doubled.”

Once she was freed from under the car, the DLRAA doctor and critical care paramedics treated Debs’s burns and made her comfortable before putting her on a stretcher and carrying her to the helicopter – which had landed in an open area adjacent to the scene of the accident.

It took just nine minutes to fly Debs to the nearest major trauma centre, the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield – a journey that would have taken 35 minutes on a blue light transfer in a land ambulance.

“The speed the air ambulance got me to hospital made all the difference. The pain was hard to bare initially, the terror of being under a car with my leg burning and unable to move was hard to cope with. To suddenly be picked up, carried off and taken to a hospital so quickly to find out what my injuries were was beyond wonderful. It probably saved my sanity as well as my leg. The speed and competence with which they work is superb, words can’t really express how thankful I am,” she says.

Seventeen months after the accident (July 2020) Debs is now walking with crutches and only has to use a wheelchair for long distances.

Life is less active than it was before the accident and she isn’t able to return to her job as a Service Manager for a national charity. She still needs hydro and physiotherapy every week and faces the prospect of having another operation. However, Debs is very grateful for the crew from DLRAA coming to her rescue.