A KEADY farmer has spoken of how grateful he is for the Air Ambulance after it came to his rescue.
It comes after it was revealed the Air Ambulance NI charity revealed that it has been tasked 1487 times, including 178 times to the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council area since the service started almost three years ago.
That equates to an average of just over five calls per month.
Air Ambulance NI is the local charity that provides the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for Northern Ireland, together with its partners at the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service. The service brings urgent medical assistance to anywhere in the province, operating seven days a week for 12 hours per day.
Nathan Hawthorne was bringing a cow and bull along a laneway near his farm in May 2018, when the bull suddenly turned to attack him.
He attempted to remove himself from danger and run from the bull but unfortunately, he was attacked directly in the chest by the animal. The bull then pinned Nathan to the ground with his head and proceeded to try to crush his chest before forcing him through a barbed wire fence causing severe lacerations to his back.
Even though the bull had broken several of Nathan’s ribs and caused a number of other injuries, he remained conscious and was able to get up and walk across the farm to raise the alarm via his mobile phone.
Emergency services, including the Air Ambulance NI team, were dispatched to the scene. The HEMS team assessed Nathan and treated him at the scene before transporting him via helicopter to Craigavon Area Hospital where he spent six days.
Nathan said, “I’m so grateful that the Air Ambulance team were there and were able to start my care right then on the farm before I was transferred to the hospital for further intervention.”
Glenn O’Rorke, Operational Lead for the HEMS said, “The HEMS team have been tasked on 1487 occasions since inception less than three years ago.
“Your life can change in an instant, trauma is still here and will continue, despite lockdown and more limited activity in society.
“Whilst the rate of road traffic collisions has slightly reduced, DIY accidents have increased and the rate of farming, industrial and other accidents has remained.
“We encourage everyone not to take unnecessary risks, yet we realise accidents happen. If that is the case and we are tasked, the air ambulance can reach anywhere in NI in approximately 25 minutes.”
Kerry Anderson, Head of Fundraising with Air Ambulance NI, said, “Air Ambulance NI is your local charity.
“With your continued support our medics can fly and continue to provide specialist critical care at scene that can be the difference between life and death.
“Each day £5,500 is needed and like every charity, we are experiencing a massive reduction in fundraising. Yet we know your helicopter service inspires support and helps patients like Nathan regularly.
“If everyone does a little the air ambulance will be here now and for generations to come.”
One of the simplest ways to support the charity is by becoming a member of Club AANI. Club AANI members donate monthly through direct debit, so it means once this is set up you are consistently supporting and are part of the journey.
Over 800 people so far have become members. You can join at www.airambulanceni.org. or call the charity on 028 9262 2677.