On 26th August, 2015, Stephen Merron was on the second day of his independent and unsupported Land's End to John O'Groats cycling challenge, when he was found unconscious in Dartmoor National Park. 

Rescuers alerted Devon Air Ambulance, which flew Stephen to Derriford Hospital where he was placed in intensive care having suffered a serious brain injury.

The immediate, first class medical care I received from DAA was the beginning of nearly 4 months of treatment in 3 hospitals, followed by further rehabilitation,' says Stephen who was subsequently discharged to his home in Upminster, Essex. 'I had to build up my walking again gradually and with plenty of exercise I gradually improved.

To celebrate his return to fitness, in July this year Stephen rode the Dunwich Dynamo event, which was a not insignificant 115 miles overnight ride from Hackney, East London, to the Suffolk coast. So far he has raised over £750 for Devon Air Ambulance, this time not alone, but with 4,000 other cyclists!

Stephen visited the Exeter airbase this year to say thank you to the DAA team, though unfortunately pilot, Ritchie Tate, and paramedics, Mark Harley and Mark Langley, who rescued him, were not available during the visit.

Nevertheless, meeting some other team members and seeing the helicopter with all its valuable equipment impressed upon Stephen what is involved in assisting a patient.

I'm grateful to everyone at Devon Air Ambulance for their brilliant help, and to the police and NHS staff who formed the complete recovery programme enabling me to “re-cycle” my life!

Thanks for sharing your story, Stephen, and for your fantastic fundraising efforts, which help us to assist future patients.

Have you been airlifted by us? If you have a story to share, do let us know. Do to patient confidentiality we only hear from our patients should they wish to get in touch with us. But we are here to lend former patients our support and to invite them to an airbase visit. 

Share your patient story today!