A motorist rescued by Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance has been reunited with the doctor and paramedic who saved his life.
Vintage car enthusiast John Sheard, from Farnham, was on his way back from a preview of an auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed when he had a head-on collision with another car on the A285 near Chichester in June last year.
Chief Pilot Captain Steve Wood, Dr Fred Van Damme and critical care paramedic David Wright arrived within 31 minutes and landed in a nearby field to help John.
John spent a total of 12 weeks at the major trauma centre at the Royal Surrey County Hospital and has since made a full recovery.
A year later, John has been reunited with the people that helped save his life.
“I was trapped in the car for quite some time, I realised the helicopter was waiting for an hour before they cut me out and took me to hospital, I was a very lucky man,” said John.
John suffered injuries to his legs and arms and a severe head injury in the accident and was flown to King’s College Hospital in London in 36 minutes, a journey that would have taken three times longer by road.
John met Dr Van Damme and Mr Wright for the first time since the accident at the Air Ambulance base at Dunsfold Park on Monday.
“It was amazing to get to meet the volunteers and was nice to be able to say thank you, I just can’t believe I survived it and I am incredibly grateful to everyone involved,” said John.
“I hope they go from strength to strength and more people become aware of the service they offer, it is a voluntary service ran by charity which relies heavily on donations.”
The first anniversary of the accident, which happened on June 30, was marked by 40 of John’s family, friends and members of the Frazer Nash Car Club attending a party at John’s home.
Frazer Nash Car Club members raised more than £2,600 for the life-saving charity and presented this to the crew on Monday.
John added: “It is something we must be aware of, an accident like mine could happen to anybody.”
David Wright from Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance said: “It’s really nice when people do come back and see us, to see them when they have recovered is really rewarding to us.”
When Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance arrived, they made sure John was stable, fitted a cannula to give him fluids, administered pain relief and monitored him before the fire service arrived to cut him out of the car.
Each emergency call-out costs the charity around £2,600 and the money raised by the Frazer Nash Car Club will fund a potentially life-saving mission.