The Parkes family’s story

The Parkes family found out first-hand the difference an air ambulance can make when Mrs Parkes (Caroline) and her two children were involved in a serious road accident in August 2014. They were on their way home from visiting relatives when the accident happened just outside Corby in Northamptonshire. Caroline escaped with cuts and bruises, but her son and daughter sustained serious injuries.

Paramedics attending the scene quickly called out the air ambulance service and Sam and Zoe arrived in Nottingham just 11 minutes later, where they were immediately transferred to the East Midlands Major Trauma Centre at Queen’s Medical Centre. Caroline arrived an hour later by road ambulance – with a frantic Mr Parkes (Adam), who wasn’t involved in the accident, in hot pursuit as soon as he heard the news.

Sam, my eight year old son, had serious spinal injuries and a broken collar bone whilst Zoe, who’s 14, suffered multiple broken bones and severe facial lacerations. Both children also had severe internal bleeding,’ says Adam. ‘When I received the call, it was a nightmare. But the staff at QMC were brilliant – truly kind and professional. As you can imagine, I was a quivering mess and they really took the time to explain everything.

After MRI body scans to diagnose the full extent of their injuries, Sam and Zoe were taken up to Ward D34 at Nottingham Children’s Hospital where they stayed for 11 days. Meanwhile, Caroline spent two days recovering on Lyn Jarrett Ward. Thanks to the parent accommodation available at QMC, Adam was able to stay at the hospital, too.

Everyone is now at home and making a good recovery, with Caroline back at work and Zoe and Sam back at school. There’s still a way to go for the children, who are receiving treatment and physiotherapy to help them get over their injuries – but they have a ride in an air ambulance to look forward to when they’re well enough.

The air ambulance crew offered the kids a ride in a helicopter as they were disappointed that they can’t remember their trip to hospital!’ explains Adam. ‘I’m really looking forward to it as it will give me the opportunity to say “thank you” to the people who saved my children’s lives. The 50 minute difference between air and road transfer times could have been the difference between life and death. I can’t thank the paramedics and all the staff at the East Midlands Major Trauma Centre enough for bringing my family back together.