Sam thanks WNAA for life-saving mission

Sam Shoesmith was rescued by the WNAA five years ago
Sam Shoesmith was rescued by the WNAA five years ago

A student who collapsed with bleeding on the brain has thanked the air ambulance crew who helped save his life.

Tomorrow marks five years to the day since Sam Shoesmith, 20, from Wellingborough, collapsed due to a bleed on his brain.

Sam was just 15 when he fell ill. He was rushed to hospital but his mother, Pauline, was told he needed life-saving treatment at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford – a journey which would take more than an hour and 40 minutes by land.

Luckily the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) was able to transfer Sam, and the journey took only 23 minutes. Sam was given an operation to relieve the pressure on his brain, and has since gone on to make a full recovery.

Five years on, Sam is a happy and healthy second year student at Nottingham University.

He said: “I cannot believe it has been five years since my accident and an enormous thank you needs to go to Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance – it saved my life.

“The brain surgeon who operated on me said that the chances of survival had an air ambulance not been available, would have been very slim.

“I really believe that if this amazing service had not been there, I would not be here today, and even if I had survived I could have been left severely disabled.”

Sam has been a strong supporter of WNAA since the incident, encouraging people to give to the charity which receives no government or National Lottery funding.

WNAA airbase manager Philippa Gibbs said: “It’s always great when our patients get in touch – especially in cases like this when they have gone on to make sure a fantastic recovery. Sam’s story shows how speed really can mean the difference between life and death and that’s why our service is so important.

“We have the fastest civilian helicopter available and we also bring our advanced clinical skills to the scene of an incident to ensure that seriously ill patients have the very best chances of survival and recovery.”