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Mother of former air ambulance patient urges others to leave a legacy

Mother of former air ambulance patient urges others to leave a legacy

Company Director Elizabeth Dearden will never forget the evening when she was told her son Luke, then aged 20, had been seriously injured when his car crashed into a tree after skidding on a muddy country lane.

“It is every parent’s nightmare to be told by a police officer that your child has been involved in an accident. The only information we were given was that he was still alive and had been airlifted to hospital,” she recalls.

It took the Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance just 13 minutes to fly Luke to the nearest major trauma hospital in Coventry where he was treated in intensive care for contusions in his brain and broken bones in his neck and shoulder.

Thankfully, he made a full recovery and ten years later is now working as a doctor and is due to be married in May (2022).

His mother believes that the outcome for Luke would not have been so good if he had not been flown to hospital by the local air ambulance.

“The nature of his injuries meant travelling in a regular road ambulance from the crash site on the Leicestershire/Rutland border would have been a lengthy and painful journey. The air ambulance flight to hospital took minutes rather than potentially over an hour and it enabled him to get treatment so much quicker,” says Elizabeth.

Forever grateful for the difference the helicopter flight made to Luke’s recovery and his ability to continue his medical degree and go on to be a doctor, Elizabeth has left a legacy to the local air ambulance in her Will.

“I have never forgotten what the charity did for our son and feel that we owe them so much. We remain so grateful every day to the team at the local air ambulance and wanted to do something so that other families can be helped like we were.

“I could leave the money to somebody else, but it wouldn’t make a life-or-death difference like it will if the air ambulance charity has the funds,” she says.

Being on the receiving end of the service provided by the local air ambulance charity has influenced Elizabeth’s decision.

But for anybody who doesn’t have first-hand experience of the lifesaving work the charity does every day of the week, she says:

“If you can do something worthwhile that really makes a difference then please consider supporting the local air ambulance charity by leaving a gift in your Will. The service it provides is so vital and when you have used it, you really appreciate that it can make the difference between life and death.

“We were aware of the local air ambulance before Luke was a patient but like most people thought it was there for others, not us. Ten years later it is a bit like a dream, but I have never forgotten what the charity did for us, and I think it’s important that it’s always there to help other families.”

Elizabeth’s support comes at a time when the charity launched Gifts in Wills Week, to encourage people to leave a legacy to the charity.

DLRAA Legacies and In Memory Executive, Katie Salisbury added:

“It is so enlightening to know that Luke made a full recovery and has achieved so many monumental milestones since his accident.

“The charity is incredibly grateful of Elizabeth’s support, leaving a gift in her Will makes such a difference as one in seven of our lifesaving missions are funded by gifts in Wills – a vital lifeline the charity. For anyone wanting to know more about legacies contact: [email protected] or 0300 3045 999.”

For anyone wishing to find out more about leaving a gift in your Will, please click here.