Family’s thank you to air ambulance

Rose Smiles meets the Yorkshire Air Ambulance paramedics Tony Wilkes (left) and Paul Holmes.
Picture: Chirs North
Rose Smiles meets the Yorkshire Air Ambulance paramedics Tony Wilkes (left) and Paul Holmes. Picture: Chirs North

THE FAMILY of a “remarkable” 94-year-old who had to have her leg amputated after being hit by a car have raised more than £6,500 to thank Yorkshire Air Ambulance for saving her life.

Grandmother Rose Smiles suffered life changing injuries after being hit by a car while crossing the High Street, Knaresborough, last September.

Rose Smiles' granddaughter  Ellie Priest with other members of her family taking part in the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.

Rose Smiles' granddaughter Ellie Priest with other members of her family taking part in the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.

Along with a head injury, she suffered severe leg injuries and was airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary where surgeons had to amputate her left leg below the knee. Her right leg was also badly damaged and Mrs Smiles is now wheelchair bound.

Her recovery - which her family say was only possible thanks to the swift action of the air crews - has astounded doctors.

Now her family launched a bid to raise £12,000 - the amount it costs every day to keep Yorkshire’s two air ambulances flying - to thank them for getting her to specialist surgeons in time.

Mrs Smiles’s daughter Maggie Maltby, also from Knaresborough, and two of her grandchildren, Ellie and Sarah Priest from Brighton, did a sponsored skydive in February and 17 family members and friends have just taken part in the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.

Before her accident Mrs Smiles walked into Knaresborough each day and local people have also been supporting the family’s fundraising drive by donating in Yorkshire Air Ambulance collection tins.

Ellie Priest, 29, said: “My grandma is an incredible lady and a very special part of our family. She has been through so much and we are all so grateful to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance for what they did that day.

“If it was not for them, Grandma Rose would not be here today. She would not have survived a road ambulance journey to hospital and that is why we wanted to come together as a family to do something positive and to say thank you.”

Yorkshire Air Ambulance serves 5m people across Yorkshire and has carried more than 6,600 people in its 15-year history. The charity has just placed an order for two, brand state-of-the-art replacements for its current ageing aircraft that will take to the skies over Yorkshire later this year and in Spring 2017.

The latest generation Airbus H145 helicopters will give paramedics a much more modern medical fit-out to treat and transport often critically injured patients.

Regional fundraising manager for Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Helen Callear said: “Rose is a remarkable lady and we have been overwhelmed by her story and determination during her recovery. We are just glad that our crew were able to get her into the right hospital as quickly as possible for the vital treatment she needed.

“Her family have also been amazing, and we cannot thank them enough for their fundraising efforts so far. They have completed some amazing challenges and we are extremely grateful for their support.”

To support Mrs Smiles’s family visit www.justgiving.com/teams/grandmasmiles