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Air ambulance charity launches 24/7 service

PUBLISHED: 10:32 04 October 2015 | UPDATED: 10:32 04 October 2015

Magpas launching 24/7 service, with recovering Speedway rider Lewis Kerr, and wife Jessie Kerr, with (l-r) Magpas Chief Pilot Dickie Eastwood, Dr Raluca Ionescu, and Paramedic Dan Phillips,

Magpas launching 24/7 service, with recovering Speedway rider Lewis Kerr, and wife Jessie Kerr, with (l-r) Magpas Chief Pilot Dickie Eastwood, Dr Raluca Ionescu, and Paramedic Dan Phillips,

Archant

The Magpas air ambulance has launched the first 24 hours a day, seven days a week pre-hospital emergency medical care service in the East of England.

The charity-funded service provides life-saving care by land and air and the launch at its headquarters in Huntingdon was attended by former patient and speedway rider Lewis Kerr and his wife Jessie.

Heacham-based rider Mr Kerr, 25, was taking part in a speedway meeting in Peterborough on August 2 when he was involved in a serious crash and suffered critical head injuries.

Magpas air ambulance flew to 
him, and with his whole family watching, Magpas doctor Raluca Ionescu and Magpas paramedic 
Dan Phillips, put him in a medically induced coma on the track. The 
rider has since made a full recovery.

A Magpas spokesman said: “Magpas’ expertise is now at any hour of the day, which is a major breakthrough for people like Lewis, who find themselves in life-threatening emergencies and urgently need on-the-spot hospital care.

“He really is a prime example of how delivering an advanced level of medical care to seriously ill and injured patients can make such a vital difference – the patient is more likely to survive, recover more quickly, spend less time in hospital and return to a good quality of life.”

Mr Kerr and his wife arrived at the Magpas air ambulance operations base on Thursday to meet the specialist team for the first time since the accident.

There were hugs all round and lots of catching up to do.

Mrs Kerr said: “I can remember all your faces, it’s all coming back to me now.

“You never think something like that is ever going to happen to you or someone you love – for a moment I thought I’d lost him. The Magpas team is amazing. I don’t want to think what might have happened to him – if Magpas hadn’t been there.”

Her husband added: “I can’t remember anything about that day, just waking up in the hospital bed. I am just so, so thankful for what they did for me that day.”

Magpas chief executive officer Daryl Brown thanked the Kerrs for attending the launch, and added: “Thanks to generous public support, Magpas is now available 24 hours a day seven days a week – it’s a huge move forward. A significant number of trauma cases happen in hours of darkness and in the winter months, so it’s key to be able to roll our service out consistently.”

Has your life been touched by Magpas? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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