Published: 27 March 2024

A Rhondda Cynon Taf woman who needed the help of Wales Air Ambulance has raised over £5,000 for the all-Wales Charity.

Sarah Jones was just 27 when she suffered a cardiac arrest at work last year. Her ‘brave and selfless’ friend and colleague, Emileigh, performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until the paramedics arrived took over her care. 

The Wales Air Ambulance were dispatched by air and arrived on scene to support the Welsh Ambulance Service.   

The air ambulance service in Wales is delivered via a unique Third Sector and Public Sector partnership between Wales Air Ambulance and the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS Cymru). 

It is consultant-led, taking hospital-standard treatments to the patient. 

Sarah received advanced critical care from the crew onboard Wales Air Ambulance; care that would usually only be available within a hospital setting. This included a general anaesthetic and being intubated on scene. Without that level of care Sarah ‘wouldn’t be here today’. 

To show her appreciation to the lifesaving charity, and to mark one year since her cardiac arrest, Sarah organised her own fundraising event.

Sarah said: “I wanted to raise money for Wales Air Ambulance because they saved my life. I will be forever thankful to them all.”

The successful charity night, which was held at Pentre Legion, Rhondda Cynon Taf saw friends and family enjoy an evening of games, an auction and raffle. They raised an incredible £5,082.

Reflecting on how much money was raised, a delighted Sarah said: “I was overwhelmed with the amount of money raised. I didn't have a specific fundraising target in mind, but I was amazed and so grateful at the response from so many local businesses that donated prizes for the raffle, as well as family and friends who donated and attended the charity night.”

Sarah had an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) fitted when in hospital and has recovered well physically from her cardiac arrest, but still attends regular check-ups.

“I am so thankful to the amazing staff at the Grange Hospital in the ICU and Cardiac ward for all the care and support they gave to me and my family during my recovery there, and also my fiancé Sam and all my family who were at my side throughout it all, and to everyone that sent well wishes and support to myself as well as my family.” added Sarah.

Sarah’s uncle Jonathan Miles also showed his gratitude to the Wales Air Ambulance by running the Manchester Marathon last year. He raised a fantastic £1,070 for the cause.

The charity, which is funded by the people of Wales, relies entirely on charitable donations to raise £11.2 million every year to keep the helicopters in the air and rapid response vehicles on the road across Wales.

Laura Coyne, Wales Air Ambulance’s Community Fundraising Manager, said: “Having experienced the benefits of our service first-hand, Sarah knows how vital our service is to the people of Wales. Sarah wanted to support the Charity through her fundraising night to help fund our missions, so that we can come to the aid of others across Wales and we are incredible thankful for her support. A huge thank you also goes to Sarah’s uncle Jonathan, for running the Manchester Marathon for us. The support from the whole family is very touching.

“Thank you to everyone who supported Sarah and Jonathan with their fundraising, the money raised by them both will enable us to serve the people of Wales, and save lives.”