‘Air ambulance saved our children’s lives’

The Parkes family of Corby
The Parkes family of Corby

A Gretton family who were involved in a serious road accident have joined the campaign to raise cash for a £3m helipad.

Caroline Parkes and her two children were involved in a serious road accident in August.

They were on their way home from visiting relatives when the accident happened just outside Corby.

Caroline escaped with cuts and bruises, but her son and daughter suffered serious injuries.

Paramedics attending the scene quickly called out the air ambulance service and Sam and Zoe arrived in Nottingham just 11 minutes later, where they were immediately transferred to the Queen’s Medical Centre.

Caroline arrived an hour later by road ambulance – with her frantic husband Adam Parkes, who wasn’t involved in the accident, in hot pursuit as soon as he heard the news.

He said: “Sam, my eight-year-old son, had serious spinal injuries and a broken collar bone whilst Zoe, who’s 14, suffered multiple broken bones and severe facial lacerations.

“Both children also had severe internal bleeding. When I received the call, it was a nightmare. But the staff at QMC were brilliant – truly kind and professional. As you can imagine, I was a quivering mess and they really took the time to explain everything.”

After MRI body scans to diagnose the full extent of their injuries, Sam and Zoe spent 11 days in Nottingham Children’s Hospital. Caroline spent two days recovering on Lyn Jarrod Ward. They all made a good recovery and Caroline is back at work and Zoe and Sam are back at school.

The children are receiving treatment and physiotherapy to help them get over their injuries and they have a ride in an air ambulance to look forward to when they’re well enough.

Adam said: “The air ambulance crew offered the kids a ride in a helicopter as they were disappointed that they can’t remember their trip to hospital.

“It will give me the opportunity to say thank you to the people who saved my children’s lives.

“The 50-minute difference between air and road transfer times could have been the difference between life and death.”

Now the family is backing the Nottingham Hospitals Charity’s £3m fundraising appeal to build a helipad at the Queen’s Medical Centre, which is the major trauma centre for the East Midlands.

There is no helipad on-site, which means that the air ambulance lands nearby at the university.

Patients are transferred to an ambulance and brought to QMC’s emergency department, which can take up to 20 minutes. Having an on-site helipad will reduce this to less than five minutes.

To support the appeal, clickhere