Each year thousands of lives are saved thanks to the generosity of gifts in Wills funding lifesaving air ambulance missions across the UK.
As the air ambulance sector launches its first collective legacy campaign, the national air ambulance charity, Air Ambulances UK, have revealed that over the last three years gifts in Wills have contributed towards approximately over 17,000 lifesaving missions as well as many operational and clinical developments for air ambulance charities.
Air ambulance crews bring the emergency department to patients who have suffered a life threatening or life changing trauma or medical emergency – providing advanced critical care to save lives.
On average, an air ambulance can reach someone in urgent need within 15 minutes. Air ambulance charities are collectively dispatched to on average over 100 lifesaving missions each day across the UK; each mission is funded almost entirely by donations and gifts in Wills.
Anyone, anywhere in the UK can become a patient at any time as William Graham found out when he was involved in a life-threatening accident when he was crushed by a dumper truck at his home in Co Down, Northern Ireland whilst doing maintenance.
William said, “I could feel myself fading and had said goodbye to Emma (my wife) believing I wasn’t going to make it, my last memory after that is hearing the helicopter and help arrive”.
Air Ambulance Northern Ireland’s HEMS team arrived at William’s home within 12 minutes and carried out advanced pre-hospital care which included placing William in an induced coma as he had significant, life-threatening injuries.
The father of four young children was airlifted to the nearest major trauma centre where he stayed in intensive care for 7 weeks. Due to the extent of his injuries he was intubated for 5 weeks and spent a further 5 weeks in the surgical ward.
William added: “I owe my life to the service of the Air Ambulance NI and the staff at the RVH and will be eternally grateful. So much of what they do is funded by public donations which undoubtedly has saved countless lives. It really is a most worthy of causes”
Now, almost two years on, William is back to work as an estate agent and welcomed his fifth child, a daughter in July 2021 and he is delighted he is here for his family.
Throughout March air ambulance charities are calling on individuals to give the gift of a lifetime to families like William’s and pledge to support an air ambulance charity in their Will. Every gift, small or large, makes a lifesaving difference.