A Ripon man has given back to the incredible charity that saved his life
A Ripon man has given back to the charity whose quick-thinking may have ultimately saved his life.
John England, 69, said he's been aware of the great work that Yorkshire Air Ambulance does for many years, but never imagined that he would be a user of the service himself until he had a heart attack on New Year's Day and was flown to hospital.
Having experienced first-hand the vital difference they can make between life and death, John and his family were inspired to pour their time and energy into organising a fundraising event in Sawley for the charity, which generated an impressive £3,000.
It was a whole-family effort, also made possible by amazing support from friends, businesses and residents who had heard about the event, with more than 200 raffle and tombola prizes donated, and cakes and refreshments were served throughout the day.
Public support for the charity event was very high, where the donations to collections for Yorkshire Air Ambulance were very generous - something which John said shows just how much of a chord their life-saving work strikes with people.
John said: "I have seen air ambulances around for years, but you never think you will need it yourself, then all of a sudden you do, and you realise how good they are and how important a service it is for probably thousands of people.
"When I got up that morning, I never knew that I was going to be in that air ambulance. If someone had told me that, I would have said, 'don't be daft.' But the reality is that anybody could need it at any time.
"If the charity didn't exist, people would be stuck, especially cyclists and motorcyclists - quite a lot of them can have accidents in the middle of nowhere, and it's really critical for an air ambulance to quickly take them to hospital.
"Everybody who helped me from Yorkshire Air Ambulance was brilliant, and I'd just like to say a big thank you to them all. I lost 20 per cent of my heart function, and I'm not getting that back. It could have been a lot more, or who knows, all of it, if it wasn't for them acting quickly and getting me to hospital as soon as they did.
"There was a great response to the fundraising day, and we are really grateful for everyone's support. I'd like to say a big thank you to all of my family and friends, and everybody who helped in some way."