A flying visit to Norfolk for the brand new Magpas air ambulance
- Credit: Magpas
Flying medic charity Magpas unveiled its new state-of-the-art new aircraft on a whistle-stop tour of East Anglia.
The life-saving aircraft left its base in Huntingdon and flew on to four locations across the region to say thank you to the local communities who helped fundraise for it.
Magpas chief pilot, Richard Eastwood piloted the helicopter to Downham Market, where it was greeted with a welcoming committee consisting of fundraisers a school choir and former patients who have survived life-threatening experiences thanks to the crucial care they were given.
Those in attendance were given a close-up experience of the Augusta Westland 169 (AW169), which is set to become the new Magpas Air Ambulance from Wednesday, May 1.
Robert Kerr from King's Lynn knows just how important the air ambulance can be when his son, speedway rider Lewis Kerr had a serious accident in 2015.
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Mr Kerr said: 'When Lewis was knocked off his bike and suffered a serious head injury. Magpas flew in with their specialist medical team. Lewis wasn't breathing, the doctor and paramedic put him into a medically induced coma on the track and got him off to Addenbrooke's Hospital. Ten days later he walked out, so we'll all be eternally grateful'.
Lewis's mother Jane Kerr added: 'I would have loved to have gotten onto that helicopter with Lewis but there wasn't enough room at the time. So to know this helicopter is bigger and a parent can go now means everything because children are frightened in that time and so is everyone else, you don't want to be separated.'
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Magpas medical director Dr Simon Lewis said: 'With the new aircraft, we can now get to patients much quicker and we're able to carry more medical kit which gets the patient to A and E quicker and saves those lives.
After visiting Downham Market, Magpas moved onto Parker's Piece in Cambridge, then onto Newmarket Academy in Suffolk and finally to Priory Country Park in Bedfordshire.
The charity needs an extra £50,000 a month to keep their new air ambulance flying. To read more about #FurtherFasterGreater to support Magpas Air Ambulance go online to www.magpas.org.uk/furtherfastergreater