28th August 2018

A Powys man has thanked the Wales Air Ambulance crew who saved his life twice in the space of three weeks.

Grant Withington, a furniture maker from Llandrindod Wells ended up relying on Wales Air Ambulance twice during June 2018 following two life-threatening experiences.

Grant recalls the frightening incidents: “It all started on June 10th. I had decided to do some gardening at home during the beautiful summer weather. I was working with a Chainsaw when disaster struck.

“I slipped with the power tool and severely injured myself.”

With significant injuries to his left hand, Grant and his family made their way to the local Accident and Emergency department where the seriousness of injuries were soon realised.

“I had severed part of my left hand and managed to cut through muscle, tendons and some of the bone too. The A&E department managed to stem the bleeding but realised I needed specialist treatment. It was at this moment where the Air Ambulance was called.”

Wales Air Ambulance’s Welshpool-based aircraft was tasked to the scene and flew Grant to the specialist plastic surgeons at Morriston Hospital, Swansea.

“Living in a rural area, having the air ambulance response was pivotal and saved vital time. The journey to Morriston should’ve taken two hours by road but Wales Air Ambulance got me to the help I so desperately needed in just sixteen minutes.

“At the hospital, Surgeons did the most amazing job of putting my hand back together during an incredible six-and-a-half-hour operation. The speed of the flight and how quickly Wales Air Ambulance was able to get me to the specialist help undoubtedly saved my hand.”

After several days in hospital, Grant was discharged and returned home to recover. However, his Air Ambulance experience was not over yet.

“I had been recovering well at home and taking each day as it came, slowly getting back to normality. I remember waking up on June 27th feeling quite unwell. I had this very sharp pain in the left side my face which just wasn’t getting any better.

“My wife decided we would go to the local surgery straight away. After completing a few tests, they immediately called for a land ambulance. I was in the early stages of a heart attack.”

“I remember feeling anxious, especially as it was just two weeks previous I had my accident. When the land ambulance arrived, they said that Morriston hospital needed me there within an hour, a journey time that would not be possible in a land ambulance.

“For the second time in just a few short weeks, the Air Ambulance was called to my aid again. The crew picked me up and flew me to Morriston within that important hour allowing me to receive the treatment that would save my life.”

After spending several days in Morriston hospital for the second time in less than three weeks, Grant was discharged, his life saved.

“My family and I are eternally grateful to Wales Air Ambulance. I frequently see the helicopter flying over our house but never thought for a moment I would ever need their help. We can never thank Wales Air Ambulance enough for what they did. I don’t think I would be here today if it were not for their speed, skill, and professionalism.

I continue to recover well and hope to be at work soon. I am here today because Wales Air Ambulance was there for me when I needed them.”