Henry’s story of survival, thanks to Midlands Air Ambulance Charity

You can listen here to Karen and Henry on The Times Radio with presenter Carole Walker here at 1:37:24 : https://www.thetimes.co.uk/radio/show/20210906-5335/2021-09-06

Air Ambulance Week 2021 takes-off across the UK from 6th to 12th September, with air ambulance charities across the country delivering the vital message that Every Second Counts and Every Penny Matters when saving the lives of people with a sudden life-threatening injury or medical emergency. 

Through sharing patient stories, the week raises awareness of how air ambulance charities save thousands of lives every year by rapidly delivering advanced lifesaving pre-hospital care directly to the side of patients at the scene of a life-threatening injury or medical emergency; essentially bringing the A&E department to the patient when every second counts towards survival.

The event also highlights that air ambulance charities collectively make over 500 lifesaving missions a week across the UK – a total of around 30,00 a year – providing vital support to the NHS and forming an important part of the UK’s frontline emergency services.

Each air ambulance lifesaving mission costs on average around £2,500-£3,500 and is almost entirely funded by donations. That’s why every penny matters and why Air Ambulances UK is calling on people all over the UK to support their local air ambulance to ensure they can continue to save the lives of people like 15-year-old Henry Carpenter, from Clifton-on-Teme in Worcestershire whose life was saved by Midlands Air Ambulance Charity following a horrific farming incident.

On Thursday 2nd April 2020, three weeks into the first national lockdown, Henry, who was 14 at the time, spent time working on his family’s farm when a freak accident left him in vital need of advanced pre-hospital emergency care.

Henry was taking a tractor out to fetch sheep in during lambing season. After climbing down from the tractor to close a gate behind him, Henry had knocked the gearstick. This resulted in him being knocked and run over by the tractor. A hydraulics box on the back of the tractor used for transporting ewes and lambs scraped up against Henry’s back.

The tractor continued to roam the field whilst Henry was left lying injured until he was found, and emergency help was called.

The Midlands Air Ambulance was despatched from the RAF Cosford base, in Shropshire. After arriving on scene, the crew on-board started treating Henry for his injuries which included a fractured pelvis and dislocated hip. Henry had also torn blood vessels in his hip as he had attempted to free himself.

Critical care paramedic for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, Karen Baker, who tended to Henry on scene, said: “We found Henry in a poorly condition. He was stable, but in terrible pain with the suspicion of a fractured pelvis. This would be difficult for an adult to cope with, but for a child it’s even more distressing. However, he showed such bravery and we knew there was something special about him.”

The aircrew applied a pelvic binder to support Henry’s pelvis and administered an analgesic and bleed control drugs – medicines which can only be administered by the advanced crew on-board Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.

After a week in hospital, due to the changing landscape of healthcare provision following the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent enforcement of lockdown measures, Henry was discharged home to continue his recovery. Despite making good progress, Henry was not able to receive physio treatment and is still awaiting a hip replacement operation.

Despite still relying on the aid of crutches to mobilise, Henry has taken on the charity’s Air30 Airbase fundraising challenge and walked a massive 54 miles within 30 days. He built the miles up gradually with his first walk being just under a mile and his last being six miles long. Henry’s determination and dedication to fund future lifesaving missions to help others in need has been his motivation to keep going.

Henry said: “I knew I could use this challenge as a way to raise much needed funds for the amazing crew at Midlands Air Ambulance Charity that helped save my life.


“It’s difficult to put into words how amazing the crew and charity are.”


With his latest challenge Henry has inspired so many people around him, including the team at Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.


Karen continued: “Henry’s commitment to his challenge, no matter how hard, has given everyone a real heart-warming boost at the charity after what has been an extremely difficult year.”

How to support your local air ambulance charity during Air Ambulance Week 

To celebrate Air Ambulance Week, Air Ambulances UK, Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland and Raffolux, the online raffle company, have partnered to launch the Every Second Counts prize draw, where people can enter to win an Audi Q3 and support their local air ambulance charity. To play please visit www.everysecondcountsraffle.co.uk.

Alternatively, you can get in direct contact with your local air ambulance charity and find out about other ways to donate by visiting https://www.airambulancesuk.org/air-ambulance-week-2021/

Simmy Akhtar, CEO, of Air Ambulances UK said:

“A sudden life-threatening injury or illness can happen to anyone, anywhere at any time. When it happens, every second counts towards survival. That’s why the vital lifesaving work of air ambulance charities is so important and why we are encouraging everyone to support their local air ambulance during Air Ambulance Week.


“With many air ambulance charities experiencing a significant rise in callouts and many fundraising activities over the past year being adversely effected by COVID-19, now more than ever, air ambulance charities need support to ensure they can save even more lives.”


You can listen here to Karen and Henry on The Times Radio with presenter Carole Walker here at 1:37:24 : https://www.thetimes.co.uk/radio/show/20210906-5335/2021-09-06