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Walker injured on Mam Tor Hill is the face of DLRAA fundraising campaign

Walker injured on Mam Tor Hill is the face of DLRAA fundraising campaign

A walker who seriously injured her ankle in a remote location in the Peak District is the face of the latest fundraising campaign for Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance.

The story of how Helen Keats was treated by the local air ambulance doctor and critical care paramedic before being flown to hospital is included in a mailing being sent out to households across the three counties.

Helen (61) was enjoying being outside on a beautiful day at the top of Mam Tor hill near Castleton in the Peak District when she slipped on muddy ground.

“I heard something snap and when I looked down my right foot was sticking out at an odd angle. It was quite apparent that I wasn’t getting up and moving any time soon,” she says.

Helen’s daughter called 999 and used the what3words app on her phone to share their location.

Due to the remote scene of the accident DLRAA and Edale Mountain Rescue Team were deployed to attend the incident.

Helen – who was on a family day out with Amber and her husband Robin – was in good spirits while she waited for help to arrive.

“We were kept updated on the phone about what was happening, so we knew they were coming, but when I saw the helicopter in the sky, I got emotional. It must have been sheer relief,” she explains.

The air ambulance landed on the hill above them after the family were asked by ambulance control to wave to identify themselves whilst the crew were overhead, as there were lots of other people around enjoying the good weather and views at the time.

Shortly afterwards the Mountain Rescue Team arrived at the scene.

Helen had a fracture/dislocation to her ankle, so the air ambulance doctor and critical care paramedic administered strong pain relief medications and applied a vacuum splint to support the injured limb.

“They did a great job and managed to straighten my foot and ankle out, so it looked a lot better,” she says.

With the help of the Mountain Rescue Team members, Helen was carried on a stretcher to the helicopter and loaded on board for the short flight to Northern General Hospital in Sheffield – which took just 7 minutes.

Helen’s husband and daughter watched the helicopter take off and then walked back down the hill to their car and drove straight to Sheffield which took them about 90 minutes.

The following day, Helen underwent an operation to repair the damage to her foot and ankle. Four days later she was discharged and driven back to her home in Plymouth, sitting in a wheelchair in a specially adapted vehicle.

She has nothing but praise for the local air ambulance and hopes sharing her story will help the charity raise funds.

“We think that the air ambulance should be paid for and not rely on donations to operate. It truly is a lifesaver and deserves to get all the money it needs, even in the current pandemic. It’s an absolute necessity,” she says.

Mission’s like Helen’s wouldn’t be possible without public support. Your local air ambulance is helping to save more lives across its three counties and further afield – providing vital, critical care support to the NHS.

Click here to find out how you can help your local air ambulance and support their campaign