We all love a party. So when I was invited to celebrate the Welsh Air Ambulance’s 10th anniversary at Margam Park I couldn’t say no – particularly when I heard it involved a trip in a helicopter and some cake!
When the service launched a decade ago they had just one helicopter. Now there are 3 covering the whole of Wales, so no matter where you are in Wales you can get to any Welsh hospital within “the golden hour”. That’s what medics call the 60 minutes after an injury or accident, because of patients are treated within that time their chance of recovery increases dramatically.
And at the anniversary I met several people who are testament to that.
Andrew Wright was working at a factory in Bridgend last March when there was an explosion. He lost his leg and a lot of blood and if he hadn’t been treated in time doctors say he would have died. But yesterday Andrew was enjoying the celebrations, the only sign that anything had happened were the crutches he used to walk.
His story shows just how important the Welsh Air Ambulances are, but the service is funded completely by charitable donations and it costs £5 million a year to run. So if they are to celebrate in another decade they need people to keep giving.