A Rhondda Cynon Taff woman has thanked the helicopter charity which came to her aid by shaving her head, raising lifesaving donations to fund its missions.

Lesley Smith, from Beddau, was airlifted in July after a freak accident whilst on a camping holiday in the Swansea Valley, leaving her with traumatic damage to her ankle and in desperate need of medical attention.

Wales Air Ambulance landed in the campsite, providing vital medical interventions to stabilise Lesley’s condition, before airlifting her to Morriston hospital.

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

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

“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 the Welsh helicopter charity for coming to her aid, a month on from the incident Lesley completed a fundraiser to help fund Wales Air Ambulance’s missions.

Lesley completed a sponsored head shave, collecting donations for Wales Air Ambulance to help the charity raise the £6.5 million needed to fund its four-helicopter operation.

Wales Air Ambulance’s shop manager, Caroline Marshall, shaved the Beddau woman’s head at the charity’s shop in Pontyridd this weekend.

Mark Stevens, Wales Air Ambulance Fundraising Manager, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to Lesley for taking on this challenge in aid of us.

“We are so touched that after she was airlifted she would think to fundraise for us, to help fund our missions across Wales.

“Each of our WAA missions costs around £1,500, funded entirely by the support we receive.

“Through her fundraiser Lesley has raised enough to fund a lifesaving helicopter mission and is helping us to come to the aid of others across the country.”

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