South Yorkshire grandmother Carol Bradbury has more reasons than most to support Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Three years ago she was excitedly helping her daughter Carrie prepare for her wedding. But just a fortnight before the big day Carrie and her two children were hit by a car.
Carrie, 39, suffered horrific, multiple injuries and because she had lost so much blood was flown to Leeds General Infirmary by air ambulance. Her children followed by land ambulance.
She spent a month in hospital after breaking her neck, back, pelvis, several ribs, both legs, right shoulder blade and her right arm. She also suffered a punctured lung and tore all her right knee ligaments.
Carol’s grandson Maxwell, now 6, received a blow to the head and then nine-month-old Scarlett suffered broken ribs, pelvis and a lacerated liver.
Carol, 62, from Penistone, said: “It was a real shock. I was initially told they were all fine and so to see Carrie in hospital all smashed to smithereens and Scarlett in bed looking so poorly was just awful. But Carrie was amazing, so determined to get home as soon as possible. Despite her injuries, she has always had such a positive attitude and her recovery has been remarkable.”
However, just six months after the accident the Yorkshire Air Ambulance was again called out – this time to help Carrie’s husband-to-be Stephen who came off his bike while training for a triathlon.
Fortunately, his injuries were not serious enough to warrant a flight to hospital and the couple eventually got married nine months later. “The air ambulance is something that you hope never to use and I never thought we would,” said Carrie of Morley.
“My accident could have been a lot worse and to be honest it was harder for Steve because he basically had to be a single parent for two months, as well as having to deal with postponing our wedding. The air ambulance crew were so fantastic and we as a family really wanted to do something to show our appreciation.”
Carol is now a voluntary fundraiser for Yorkshire Air Ambulance in the South of the region, while daughter Carrie is a fundraising ambassador for the charity in West Yorkshire. Carol also gives talks about the work of the YAA that incorporates her family’s first hand experience and their subsequent fundraising.
She added: “We just feel we want to put something back. The air ambulance is a service which is there for everyone and is totally dependent on donations and fund raising activities.
“I have always done charity work but this is a charity that is particularly close to my heart now. I did not realize the YAA receive no Government funding but it is so well run and I am more than happy to tell as many people as possible why they deserve our support.”
Yorkshire Air Ambulance, which has transported more than 5,000 people to hospital since taking to the skies in 2000, provides a rapid response emergency service to five million people across Yorkshire – England’s largest region.
It needs to raise £9,900 each day to keep its two helicopters in the air – equivalent to £3.6 million per year.
The YAA are available to give talks to groups and organisations across the region. Anyone interested in hearing Carol or any of the YAA staff give a talk about the work of the life-saving charity should contact Charity HQ on 01422 237900.