Published: 16 June 2023

On June 21 last year, Lynne Press’ world changed forever when her grandson Ethan was involved in a serious car crash.

Ethan, 22, had been driving near Pen y Fan when he collided with an ash cart and, in an instant, was left with life-threatening injuries.

Two paramedics, who happened to be travelling in the opposite direction, offered emergency assistance before the Wales Air Ambulance arrived on scene to provide critical care. Ethan suffered life-threatening injuries and spent two weeks in intensive care.

Lynne, 65, who lives next door to her grandson in Townhill, Swansea, said the care and support Ethan received had been fantastic and thanked everyone who paid their part in helping him on his road to recovery.

She said: “We saw the police pull up outside the house and go inside, I just remember hearing my daughter screaming. We went in to see what was wrong and a police officer told us about the accident.

“We went straight up to the hospital in Cardiff and were told to fear the worst. It all seems a daze, just waiting and wondering what was going on. Thankfully, against all odds, Ethan pulled through and he is now back working.

“It’s frightening to think what could have happened and we are all so thankful to the Wales Air Ambulance and hospital staff for helping to save his life. I can never repay them enough for what they did.”

The grandmother-of-five was so grateful to the Charity that she decided to look into volunteering.

After taking early retirement, Lynne wanted to give back to the Charity that saved her grandson.

Lynne, who used to be a cleaner in the Quadrant Shopping Centre for 23 years, visited her local charity shop in Swansea city centre and enquired about volunteering for a few hours a week.

She said: “As soon as Ethan came out of hospital, I felt I needed to do something to say thank you. I wanted to help the Charity that helped save my grandson. You never think you will need the Wales Air Ambulance; you take it for granted when you see it. I do think if it wasn’t for them, Ethan wouldn’t be here today.

“I volunteer every Friday for four hours a day and I really enjoy it. I had never considered volunteering before, and I have made many friends since I started before Christmas.

“It is a lovely place, and everyone is so friendly. I mainly help in the warehouse but occasionally go on the shop floor. The only downside is I spend too much money in the shop! There are some fantastic items that are donated.

“Volunteering allows me to have some time to myself as well as doing something rewarding. Knowing that I could be helping other people like Ethan feels wonderful.”

Wales Air Ambulance relies on its volunteers in a number of ways and their support helps to ensure the service is able to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, providing critical care to some of the most seriously ill and injured people throughout Wales.

Lynne said: “I would encourage people to volunteer even if it’s just for a few hours. It is a good way to meet people, learn new skills and do something that helps others. Plus, it is good for youngsters to put on their CV’s.

“If it wasn’t for the Wales Air Ambulance my grandson may not be here today. You don’t expect to wave your loved ones off to work in the morning and for them to be involved in an accident. We are so lucky and blessed that Ethan is here with us today to help us continue making more family memories. It could have been a lot different.”