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On the evening of 6th August 2012, my son Dylan was riding his motorcycle home from Lechlade, when he had a collision with another vehicle and suffered catastrophic injuries due to the impact.
Wiltshire Air Ambulance received a call and decided to attend even though the location was outside of their area. They arrived at the scene in an amazing 10-15 minutes.
The helicopter was manned by pilot Andy and the two Paramedics: Richard Miller and Ross Culligan. Shortly after the air crew arrived, so did Doctor Ed Valentine from Swift Medics. We were later told that this helicopter is one of only two air ambulances in the country which are able to fly at night.
They found my son with several life threatening injuries. A piece of glass had completely severed his trachea and oesophagus and had become lodged against his spinal column. His stomach had been forced up into his chest rupturing his diaphragm; he had bruised lungs, bleeding on the brain, two broken arms, a broken neck and ankle, nerve damage to his right arm, internal bleeding and a life threatening low blood pressure suggesting an uncontrolled haemorrhage.
The medics worked on Dylan for over an hour at the roadside to make sure he had every chance to survive being air lifted to hospital. After stabilising his condition, they flew him to Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital where he underwent a 12 hour operation.
On the 8th August, we were delighted to see Richard and Ross when they turned up to the Intensive Care Unit to check on Dylan's condition. This was the first time our family became aware of Dylan's state and condition at the scene. Dylan underwent two more long operations and a lengthy stay in hospital.
It soon became clear that Richard Miller, Ross Culligan and Ed Valentine's speed of arrival, the key decisions they made at the scene, their unbelievable calmness and incredible professionalism at the roadside saved my son's life.
Richard Miller and Ross Culligan received the Chief Officer's Commendation for the highest quality treatment they provided and for their actions above and beyond the call of duty. If I had my way, the whole crew would be knighted!
In December 2012, Dylan, his two sisters (Harriet and his twin Jessica) and I visited Devizes, where the Air Ambulance is based. Dylan met Richard and Ross for the first time and they talked about what occurred that evening, allowing Dylan to understand and piece together everything that had happened. This was an emotional afternoon for us all.
The heroic actions of these amazing professionals have touched our hearts beyond words. In trying to express this emotion and to thank you deeply, we have decided to raise money for Wiltshire Air Ambulance by running the Oxford Half Marathon. We currently have 115 runners signed up to take part. It’s only a small gesture to express our thanks. How can you really thank someone who saved your son's life?
You can follow our fund raising activities at: www.dylansmarathonchallenge.co.uk
I can honestly say that Wiltshire Air Ambulance saved Dylan's life.
Chris Jones (Dylan’s Father)