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Paul Shehean avatar
Paul Shehean

Paul's Ride Across Britain

Fundraising for Devon Air Ambulance Trust

126 %
£3,796.00
raised of £3,000 target
by 114 supporters
Donate
  • Event: Deloitte Ride Across Britain 2017, 09 Sep 2017 to 17 Sep 2017

Devon Air Ambulance Trust

We raise the £6.4 million needed to keep Devon's 2 Air Ambulances flying

Charity Registration No. 1077998

Story

On the 9th September 2017 I will spend 9 days cycling from Lands End to John O'Groats to raise money for the Devon Air Ambulance Trust (DAAT).  The reason why is below:

What was supposed to be the first day of a family holiday in South Devon almost ended in the most horrific way as our eldest son, Finley, stumbled over the edge of a cliff face, falling between 15-20 feet onto the jagged rocks below.

Many will know, that as a parent many things can shock and scare you when you see your child in danger, but for me personally, the sight of my eldest boy falling from the top of the cliff and disappearing from view will be one that will haunt me for the rest of my life.  Time seemed to slow down and stop in that split second he fell, and the sense of ‘fight or flight’ truly kicked in as I contemplated throwing myself off the cliff face after him. 

In what seemed like an eternity, but could have only been 30 seconds, I managed
to find a way down to the foot of the cliff and made my way over to Finley who was completely lifeless and face down on the rocks.  Finley began to come around as I reached him and the amount of blood I could see had me worried that he had suffered significant injuries (it became clear when the air ambulance arrived that Finley had
suffered two lacerations to his head. The one on the top was extremely deep with the skull exposed).

I didn’t realise at this point that the air ambulance had been mobilised and were on route.  My wife had managed to gain a phone signal and had managed to provide the exact location to where we were.  Given that we were at the foot of the cliff at this point, the air ambulance were discussing on route the best place for them to land, and knew that any landing at the base of the cliff with the tide coming in and numerous boat masts causing obstructions would be particularly hazardous to them.

There were many people who were on hand to help and assist us on that day, and each and every one were incredible and we will never be able to thank them enough.  They include the surgeon who happened to be passing on his boat and helped me get Finley
into his boat and onto the jetty near where the air ambulance could land, the couple on the jetty who gave my wife chocolate to try and calm her down, the ambulance crew who arrived on the scene and gave me and my youngest (Noah) a ride to the hospital to be with Finley, and to the hospital staff who patched him up and looked after him during his overnight stay.

Being able to raise money for the Devon Air Ambulance is really only a small way of being able to say thanks.  To me it feels like a small token gesture as I don’t feel it is a big enough way to say thank you for their efforts, but I know they are extremely grateful for all donations they receive.  The fact that they were potentially putting their own safety at risk due to the location where Finley had fell goes some way to describing the calibre of the people involved, and for that our family are extremely grateful.

Thanks for reading.



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