On a Sunday afternoon last September, four-year old Ella was travelling home from her birthday party when a lorry went into the back of the car she was in.
Our air ambulance crew arrived at the scene, on the A17 near Cranwell, Lincolnshire, in just four minutes with paediatrician Doctor Paul Hancock on board.
It was his first shift on the Ambucopter and he, along with the rest of the crew, quickly went to work stabilising Ella.
Ella’s mum Georgia Burgess-Wood, who was heavily pregnant, rushed to the scene on foot, weaving in and out of traffic.
She said: “I can only describe the scene as a horror movie. I couldn’t find Ella at first but eventually saw a big group of people and found her in the middle of them.
“I got to the scene 15 minutes after the crash and the air ambulance crew helped me with the shock of what had happened. They were amazing with Ella.”
A journey which took just eight minutes.
Ella suffered a fractured eye socket and cheekbone, a broken leg and two lacerations to her liver. She was whisked away to Queen’s Medical Centre in the Ambucopter, a journey which took just eight minutes.
Another Air Ambulance was called in to take Ella’s dad Kieran to Queen’s Medical Centre.
Just five weeks after the incident, brave Ella visited our HQ with her leg still in plaster and the bruising still visible on her face. She wanted to give our crew a box of chocolates to say thank you. We were delighted to see Ella on the mend and we arranged for her to visit the airbase and meet our chief pilot Llewis Ingamells, Doctor Reuben Gritsi and Paramedic Matt Moore, who all attended the incident.
They were so pleased to see Ella and the huge smile she had on her face. Matt even recalled how Ella battled through her tears on the day of the accident to tell him about her love of unicorns!
Ella said: “The air ambulance crew were great. They were so nice to me!”
Ella’s involvement with us didn’t stop there. Earlier this year, the unicorn-loving girl and her family helped our CEO Karen Jobling cut the turf at the site of our new HQ. Ella’s outgoing personality brought some welcome sunshine to the event on what was a very wet and windy morning.
Then in April, Ella took on her very own challenge to raise money for us. When the London Marathon was cancelled, lots of people up and down the country took on the 2.6 Challenge. Our Ella walked 2.6 miles and raised an incredible £952!
It’s all thanks to the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance
Mum Georgia said: “Seven months ago, we were faced with the most challenging experience we will ever go through but it’s all thanks to the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance for everything they did on that day.
“From getting Ella to hospital so quickly and comforting her when we couldn’t be with her, to treating her to a tour of the air base and being treated like a princess at the turf cutting ceremony. The team still continue to help Ella, and we couldn’t thank them enough for their incredible support.”