How the ‘fantastic’ air ambulance saved my life --Matlock garage-owner

GLAD TO BE ALIVE -- a laughing David McKenzie (second from left) pictured at an air ambulance patient-reunion with others who have been helped by the charity and volunteers.
GLAD TO BE ALIVE -- a laughing David McKenzie (second from left) pictured at an air ambulance patient-reunion with others who have been helped by the charity and volunteers.
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The owner of a garage in Matlock is urging people to help secure the future of a charity that saved his life.

David McKenzie owes everything to the speedy response of the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance after a calamitous accident at work.

Now he is determined to do all he can to keep the charity’s helicopters flying, and has issued an appeal for support for the Give an Hour to Save a Life campaign during Air Ambulance Week, which runs until Sunday.

“What they do is fantastic -– and it is free,” said David. “There is no doubt, if it wasn’t for the air ambulance, I wouldn’t be here today.”

David was in his garage when an inspection ramp suddenly collapsed, causing a car to fall on him. He suffered multiple injuries, including a broken pelvis, broken ribs and punctured lungs.

The air ambulance helicopter was on the scene within minutes and, after being assessed and stabilised, David was flown to the Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham for emergency treatment.

“The transfer took just seven minutes,” David recalled. “If I had gone to the QMC by road from Matlock, I wouldn’t have survived.

“I was fortunate in many ways. My employees responded quickly and the air ambulance was available that day.”

Every rescue mission flown by the air ambulance costs £1,700 and, because the charity receives no government funding, it relies totally on public donations to stay operational.

The Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance is taking to the streets this week to hand out yellow cross pin badges, symbolising the charity, in exchange for donations. Last year’s campaign raised £25,000.