Past patient asks for your help to support charity’s Summer Raffle

Past patient asks for your help to support charity’s Summer Raffle

Wales Air Ambulance is delighted to announce it is launching its summer raffle with the
support of past patient Craig Harrendence.
Craig’s life was saved in April 2023 after he suffered catastrophic injuries following a serious
motorbike accident which resulted in him being thrown 60 feet from his bike.
The Wales Air Ambulance team arrived within minutes and found Craig lying face down with
his helmet still on. The team had been returning to their base in Dafen, Llanelli, from a
previous incident when they received the call. On arrival at the scene, the medics gave Chris
a general anaesthetic at the roadside and he also needed a blood transfusion – treatments
not usually available outside of a hospital environment.
The experienced motorcyclist had clipped the central reservation of the A48 near
Penllegaer, Swansea, just minutes after leaving his home. He was left with extensive injuries
and fighting for his life.
A grateful Craig, aged 53, credits the Wales Air Ambulance with saving his life. With 35 years
of biking experience, he never imagined that he would need the help of the Charity.
He said: “I don’t remember much about the incident, but I was badly injured. The Wales Air
Ambulance are lifesavers, without a shadow of a doubt.”
With Craig’s blood pressure being incredibly low, which is a sign of possible internal
bleeding, and with his heart rate being very fast, the medics realised quickly that Craig
would need the blood products that they carry on the aircraft.
Dr Chris Hingston, who helped to treat him at the scene, said: “It turned out later that Craig
needed nearly all the blood products which we carry. It is always a worry because patients
who are that sick don’t often survive.”
After noticing there was a crack in Craig’s helmet, and with Craig becoming agitated and
confused, the Wales Air Ambulance medics suspected a head injury, so administered the
general anaesthetic.

Dr Hingston, who also looked after Craig whilst he was in intensive care, added: “We gave
specialist drugs to help with blood clotting and we realised that Craig would need a general
anaesthetic at the roadside, not just for pain relief but because he would need other
interventions once he got to the hospital.”
The team transported the former Royal Engineer to the University Hospital of Wales,
Reflecting on what he has been through, Craig – who is continuing to undergo physiotherapy

  • said: “My left leg was open so you could see my fibula, but my pelvis was broken. I had a
    collapsed lung and fractured spleen, and internally my blood was low which wasn’t a good
    sign. I have had to have a buttock removed.”
    Craig regained consciousness three days after his accident and was told ‘things were not
    looking good at all’ and it was unlikely that he would walk again and would need a
    He continued: “I am a stubborn man and I was determined to get better. I spent 10 weeks in
    hospital and then I was home. My consultant was blown away by my recovery and the
    physios were amazed.
    “I have reduced my medicine by my own request, and I self-catheterise now so I have to be
    careful with what I eat – there’s no pizza or red wine! But I’m fiercely independent and I am
    Following Craig’s remarkable recovery, he is encouraging people to support this year’s
    Summer Raffle in aid of the lifesaving charity which helped save his life.
    Tickets, which are £1 each, will be sold from Saturday 20 April and will close on Monday 17
    June. They are available from the Charity’s shops, fundraising representatives and online.
    The draw will take place on Friday 28 June and one lucky winner will win £3,000, with a
    second prize of £500 and third prize of £300. Why don’t you buy a ticket and be a lifesaver!
    Craig, who has now returned to his job as a joiner for Swansea Council, added: “I just want
    to thank the Wales Air Ambulance as without the intervention of the service, I don’t think
    I’d be here. The outcome would have been very different – I would not be here talking about
    what happened to me today.”
    Wales Air Ambulance is consultant-led, taking hospital-standard treatments to the patient
    and, if required, transferring them directly to the most appropriate hospital for their illness
    or injury. For the patient, this can mean hours saved when compared to standard care and is
    proven to greatly improve survival and early recovery.  

It is delivered via a unique Third Sector and Public Sector partnership. The Emergency
Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS) supplies highly skilled NHS consultants and
critical care practitioners who work on board the Charity’s vehicles.
As a pan-Wales service, the dedicated air ambulance crews, regardless of where they are
based, will travel the length and breadth of the country to deliver emergency lifesaving care.

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Team @ AberdareOnline

Team @ AberdareOnline

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