THE VICTIM of a cycling accident embarked on an emotional 450km bike ride to say thank you to the ambulance crew who saved her life.
Claire Walters from Stratford suffered life-threatening injuries including a collapsed lung, fractured skull, broken ribs, collarbone and vertebra, a dislocated knee and facial injuries while biking in Cornwall two years ago.
Cornwall Air Ambulance arrived within minutes, delivering life-saving equipment and specialist critical treatment before airlifting her to hospital where she spent days in intensive care.
Following a gruelling period of rehabilitation, the 47-year-old, who works for Unipart Logistics, along with colleagues, completed the Thames 100 – a four-day 100 mile walk.
The move – which raised over £23,500 – was the beginning of a charity partnership between Unipart Logistics and Air Ambulances UK – the charity supporting the life-saving work of the nation’s 21 air ambulance services.
And Claire, a member of Stratford Cycling Club, was joined by a workmates to complete an emotional and hilly 450km bike ride from the Wiltshire Air Ambulance airbase to the Cornwall Air Ambulance airbase to say thank you to the crew who saved her life.
Her latest fund-raiser has reached £21,500, taking the total raised for Air Ambulances UK to over £45,000.
Claire said: “It goes without saying that I will be forever grateful for what the Air Ambulance did for me personally that day – I owe them a debt which can never be repaid.
“I have tried in a small way by fund-raising and supporting Air Ambulances, and thanks to my experience I am passionate about raising awareness and vital funds for the air ambulance charities around the country.
“Without the lifesaving mission from Cornwall Air Ambulance so quickly delivering such advanced equipment and care, my situation may have turned out very differently.
“This year’s challenge was a real journey for me, giving me the opportunity to thank the Air Ambulance team who saved my life.
“Nobody ever leaves home expecting to have to rely on the expert medical services and critical care services provided by the air ambulances.
“It costs in the region of £3,000 for every mission that an air ambulance makes, so with the money we’ve raised so far we’ve funded 15 life-saving missions – that’s 15 people who stand a better chance of survival.”
Simmy Akhtar, CEO of Air Ambulances UK, said: “We are incredibly grateful to the team at Unipart Logistics for undertaking this great challenge and raising such vital funds to support the lifesaving work of air ambulance charities across the UK.
“The story of Claire’s survival is testament to the advanced lifesaving pre-hospital care that air ambulance charities provide every day, giving people with a sudden life-threatening injury or medical emergency the best chance of survival and patient outcome.”
Visit justgiving.com/campaign/UnipartLogisticsChallenge2021 to donate to Claire’s cause.