A granddad who was airlifted by Cornwall Air Ambulance has left a lasting legacy to the charity.
It was a normal day when Albert John Davey, known as John, had been out on a shopping trip in Liskeard. He collapsed in a doorway, having suffered a stroke, and emergency services were called to the scene. Cornwall Air Ambulance was tasked, and our critical care paramedics airlifted John to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth within a matter of minutes.
John’s daughter, Pat Mitchell, said: “He always used to take my auntie shopping on a Wednesday, they used to go into Liskeard, he was driving her back and all of a sudden he was carrying the shopping into the doorway and he collapsed on the floor.”
Granddaughter Michelle Mitchell added: “The paramedics moved him up to the helicopter, it was literally five minutes it took them to get to Derriford, and that really saved his life. They must have given him the vital injections, he had a stroke, they call it the golden hour.”
The quick response and treatment gave John an extra three years of life.
Sadly, John passed away last year – but has continued to support Cornwall Air Ambulance by leaving a gift to the charity in his Will.
“John said if they hadn’t taken him and saved him, he wouldn’t be here, so he was quite adamant he wanted to leave a legacy to keep it going. I hope what he’s left has saved many more lives”, said Pat.
Michelle added: “The extra time that Cornwall Air Ambulance enabled him to have meant he was able to live an extra three years afterwards. I didn’t know he’d left money, and when I found out my first thought was ‘wow, what a really generous gift’, to know that it will help so many people, I feel really proud.”
It comes as Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust (CAAT) is participating in Remember a Charity in Your Will Week, from the 5th to 11th September.
The annual awareness week aims to encourage people to leave a gift to charity, so they can make a difference, just like John.
Gifts in Wills are a critical source of funding for charitable services across the country, raising more than £3 billion for good causes annually.
Kind-hearted Brits left gifts in Wills to 10,670 different charities last year, the highest number recorded over the past decade, according to Smee & Ford research marking the start of Remember a Charity Week.
However, the Covid pandemic hit charities hard, with many seeing a decrease in donations at a time when they were needed most, putting their vital work at risk. With the continuing impact of the pandemic, changing economic circumstances and rise in cost of living, many charities are yet again experiencing an increase in demand, whilst struggling with their own additional costs.
At Cornwall Air Ambulance, gifts in Wills make up one third of the money raised by the charity each year and are a vital source of income to keep the helicopter flying. With the crew attending over 1,100 critical incidents annually, that means gifts left in Wills account for over 350 missions and potential lives saved.
Debbie Henshaw, Senior Fundraising Manager at CAAT, said: “Leaving a gift in your Will makes an incredible difference to the charity. One in three missions are only possible due to people like you and I kindly leaving a gift in our Wills. These thoughtful legacies help provide the transport, equipment and training to enable our crew to respond to someone’s worst day. A gift in your Will provides a beacon of hope and we are grateful no matter the size.
“Leaving a gift to Cornwall Air Ambulance could be part of your legacy and will help save lives in this generation and the next. Thank you for remembering Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust in this way alongside your family and friends.”
A gift in a Will can be a simple yet meaningful way to ensure that Cornwall Air Ambulance can continue its lifesaving work, even after death. For more information, please visit cornwallairambulancetrust.org/remember-a-charity/