What do these people have in common?

25th March 2022

The people in the photo collage are just a handful of patients that Yorkshire Air Ambulance has treated and flown to hospital over the last 22 years.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) serves 5 million people across Yorkshire and carries out over 1,300 missions every year. The Charity operates two, state-of-the-art Airbus H145 helicopters and needs to raise £12,000 every day to keep saving lives.

The new campaign from the YAA aims to raise awareness that a serious incident could happen to anyone, at any time anywhere, and express the importance of the life-saving charity across the region.

Every year, YAA treat a diverse mix of patients. In 2021 alone, Yorkshire Air Ambulance responded to 1,712 incidents and over the last 20 years, they have flown more than 8,300 patients to major trauma centres across the region, often for life-saving treatment.
Here are just a small example of people the YAA have helped over the years:

On 10th April 2019, Kayanna Nicol from Doncaster, who was seven at the time, accidentally walked into the pathway of an ongoing vehicle. The back wheel of the car caught her leg and split it from side to side causing a massive trauma. Kayanna was flown to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where she was rushed into a five-hour surgery to save her leg. Kayanna’s father Keith, said:

“She received excellent attention and treatment that Kayanna received was second to none. I couldn’t fault anyone; they are all brilliant people.”

Caroline Shepherd from Helmsley, North Yorkshire, was out hunting on her horse at Lockton near Pickering in 2018 when she suddenly collapsed and fell from it. Caroline was airlifted to James Cook University Hospital, where brain scans revealed that she had suffered from a subarachnoid haemorrhage.  Doctors told her that she was lucky to be alive as she had technically died at the scene before being resuscitated. Caroline is now a registered volunteer for Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

“I owe them my life and I cannot thank them enough for everything they have done”, said Caroline.

Anthony Burman was involved in a serious motorcycle racing incident in Elvington race track near York in 2009.  

He said: ‘Without the Yorkshire Air Ambulance I would not be where I am today, you just never know when you, or your family may need these heroes’

Professor Ben von Hout suffered a near fatal cardiac arrest in York in May 2019. Speaking of his incident,

Ben said: “The faster you are at hospital, the better the results are and of course going in the helicopter decreases the time between symptoms and having a stent placed.  I can only be thankful to everyone doing such a good job. I can’t believe how lucky I am.”


Robert Wood was doing some maintenance work on the 106-year-old bells at Middleham Parish Church in Wensleydale, when he slipped and fell several feet onto part of the mechanism, impaling his chin on a metal peg. YAA crews flew Robert to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesborough for an urgent four hour operation on his jaw.

“The land and then air ambulance were there very quickly, and I was just so grateful to be flown to hospital within minutes. They saved me from what would have been a long and painful journey of over an hour on winding roads”, said Robert.

Imran Choudhry from Oldham, featured in a one-hour special episode ‘Critical Hour’ of the award winning television show, Helicopter ER.  His accident which saw him fall around 100ft down a steep ravine from the Trinnacle Point at Saddleworth Moor was one of the YAA’s most complex rescues in their 22 years of operations.  

He said: “They are my angels who saved me. I’m so grateful for their help. It was a very challenging rescue and it’s amazing what they did to save me.”

Hayley Delaney from Bradford was only five weeks away from completing her midwifery course when she was involved in a serious road traffic collision when a car ran a red light at a crossroads near Cleckheaton back in 20xx. She was left with significant brain injuries and had to learn to walk again.

“The air ambulance are my angels in the sky. I wouldn’t be here without them. They have saved my life and changed my life, and they will always hold a special place in my heart”, said Hayley.

On the 26th September 2019, Nigel Atkinson was riding his motorcycle on the M18 motorway near Thorne. As he was passing an articulated goods vehicle, the prop shaft from that wagon flew off into the front wheel of his bike resulting in Nigel coming off his bike at 70 mph causing him serious damage.  A passer-by named Matthew who was driving his van, positioned his vehicle to protect Nigel as he was airborne, so no further damage came to him on the busy motorway and then started immediate CPR until the emergency services arrived. Yorkshire Air Ambulance dispatched their helicopter and Nigel was flown to hospital for further treatment.

“I’m eternally grateful to the YAA and Matthew’s heroic efforts”, said Nigel.

Abby Barmby, Director of Marketing and Communications added:

“These are just a few of the remarkable people we have been able to help and save over our 22 years of operations.  All of them highlight the vital work we do, and how our crews really do help to save lives.  We are so grateful to each of them for allowing us to share their stories and help us educate people about the work our Charity does.  As an independent Charity which receives no direct government funding we rely solely on charitable donations so having previous patients share their stories really does helps us spread the word.”


To learn more about Yorkshire Air Ambulance and to read more in depth patient stories, please visit https://www.yorkshireairambulance.org.uk/

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