A Rhondda Cynon Taff woman is thanking the lifesaving helicopter charity which came to her aid last week, after she suffered a serious leg injury whilst on holiday.

On Monday July 3, Wales Air Ambulance was called to a campsite in Swansea Valley, after a woman had fallen, severely injuring her ankle.

Lesley Smith, from Beddau, was camping with her partner, Paul, near Pen y Cae when she was involved in a freak accident that caused traumatic damage to her ankle.

Lesley said: “My partner Paul had persuaded me to give camping a go, and this was my very first camping trip.

“On Monday morning, I was wiping the tent down as it had rained all night.

“I stepped over one of the guy ropes, and I either tripped over it or slipped on the wet grass, but the next thing I know, I fell and heard a loud crunch. When I looked at my foot, it was at a 90-degree angle to my leg.”

The 48-year-old has suffered a severe fracture and dislocation to her ankle, and had potentially suffered underlying damage to her circulation.

Stranded in the countryside with a serious injury, in desperate need of medical attention, Wales Air Ambulance was called to the scene to help Lesley.

“Paul dialled 999, and it was decided that I needed more urgent assistance as there could be circulation problems in my foot – so Wales Air Ambulance was dispatched.

“The WAA team were amazing, and put me at ease immediately. They were all so professional, I felt very safe in their hands,” Lesley said.

The Welsh helicopter charity treated Lesley at the scene before flying her to Morriston hospital, Swansea, to get the urgent care she needed.

“I was very touched that Wales Air Ambulance called the ward at Morriston hospital the following day to see how I was getting on.

“I am so grateful that they are on hand, as I can’t imagine what the outcome would have been without them.”

To thank Wales Air Ambulance for coming to her aid, Lesley woman is now beginning to organise a fundraiser for the charity, less than a week after her rescue.

Lesley is going to complete a sponsored head shave for the charity, cutting off her hair to raise donations to fund Wales Air Ambulance’s missions across Wales.

The Wales Air Ambulance Charity relies on donations to fund its operations, raising £6.5million every year to keep its four helicopters flying across Wales.

Each of the charity’s missions costs around £1,500, funded through donations raised through selling items in WAA’s charity shops, fundraisers and bucket collections.

Mark Winter, Operations Manager at Wales Air Ambulance, said: “Lesley’s mission illustrates how a seemingly small incident can lead to traumatic injuries, that need urgent attention.

“The benefit of Wales Air Ambulance is that we can reach difficult to access areas, provide medical intervention on scene and get patients to the care they need.

“We can fly the A&E department to the patient, meaning that we can treat and stabilise patients before we fly them to the care

“We are so happy to hear that Lesley is on the road to recovery, and we are incredibly grateful that she would think to fundraise for Wales Air Ambulance. As a charity, WAA relies on kind support to keep our four helicopters flying across the country.”

If you would like to sponsor Lesley, click here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lesley-smith-is-going-grey