A revolutionary piece of ultrasound equipment has been donated in memory of the former chairman of the Cornwall First Air Ambulance Trust.
Ron Hill was a journalist working in local newspapers when he helped the First Air Ambulance Trust in 1987.
Through his role as Editor and Managing Director of the Cornish Guardian and later the West Briton, Ron used the papers as a vehicle for publicity for Cornwall Air Ambulance, helping to generate funding and ultimately launch the charity.
Ron’s sons said that their father was passionate about making sure the charity raised enough money to keep the service running. Cornwall’s was the first air ambulance charity established in the UK, with all others that followed going on to replicate the same model. His son Jeremy said: “Dad felt very privileged to be associated with the First Air Ambulance Charity. He loved Cornwall and the spirit of the Cornish people. He was immensely proud of the work the charity did, and how the Cornish people managed to raise the money to keep it going and make it very successful as a charitable model.”
Sadly, Ron passed away in 2012.
In 2019, Jeremy started working for a company called Butterfly Network, who developed a revolutionary ultrasound system that plugs into a smartphone. The compact Butterfly iQ+ device is used for full body scanning, so ideal for critical care clinicians.
Jeremy reached out to the clinical team at Cornwall Air Ambulance about the devices, as an option for when their existing ultrasound systems needed replacing. Ron’s wife decided to fund the cost of one of the devices for the charity, in memory of her husband and the work that he did. Several are now being used within the charity.
Jeremy added: “I know he was so proud of what Cornwall Air Ambulance managed to achieve, and with the backing of the Cornish people I think he was very proud of the model and getting it off the ground. And we are very proud of him!
“The donation seems like a fitting connection in his memory, and we’re very pleased to be able to do it. I know he’d be very happy that we are supporting Cornwall Air Ambulance and the incredible work that the team do.”
The Butterfly iQ device – credit: Butterfly Network
Towards the end of his life Ron was taken to the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital in the Devon Air Ambulance. During the flight he told the crew of his connection with Cornwall Air Ambulance, and on hearing his story the pilot turned and thanked him.
If you would like to leave a legacy to Cornwall Air Ambulance, a gift in a Will can be a simple yet meaningful way to ensure your charity can continue its lifesaving work. For more information, please visit cornwallairambulancetrust.org/remember-a-charity/