A father and son have both been airlifted by Cornwall Air Ambulance more than 30 years apart.
Tim Hughes was rescued by the crew in 1987, just months after the first ever helicopter emergency medical service started in Cornwall. At the age of 16 he was involved in a water-skiing incident which left him injured by the boat’s propeller. He was airlifted to City Hospital, in Truro, where he had 32 stitches in his leg.
More than 30 years on and Cornwall Air Ambulance came to his aid again, this time to help his son Callum who suffered a seizure at nursery on 26 February.
The helicopter, with critical care paramedics Mick McLachlan and Pete Storer, was tasked to the three-year-old, reaching him at Lostwithiel in just 8 minutes.
Tim said: “When your child is ill, time stops. As the seizure went on a long time, we were worried about brain damage- you just think the worst. Fortunately the crew were able to get him to hospital quickly for medication and he came round.”
Tim is supporting the charity’s appeal to bring a new air ambulance helicopter to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, to help more families like his in the future.
He added: “I remember when I was taken in the helicopter, things have developed a lot since then. Cornwall is remarkably lucky to have this service. We’ve got a small population spread across a big area, it’s vital that we have the air ambulance to reach people in need of urgent medical care.
“I was in the first air ambulance and feel proud that the service started here. Just think how many more people could be saved with a next generation of helicopter.”
Cornwall Air Ambulance has £1million left to raise in the fundraising appeal by April 2020.
Barbara Sharples, Chair of the New Heli Appeal Board and Trustee, said: “Tim and Callum’s story highlights how vital the service is here in Cornwall. We want to be able to keep more families like this together. The charity prides itself on being there in people’s hour of need.
“To continue to do that for the next generation, we need a helicopter that will future-proof the service and cope with growing demand. There’s £1 million left to raise to make that happen. It’s a big target by April 2020, but we know what the people of Cornwall can achieve.
“Please donate whatever you can to the appeal, it’s going to take a big team effort and we need everybody to do their bit now to help us hit that target.”
Donate to the New Heli Appeal here. You can text SAVE to 70144 to donate £5 to the appeal.