The first patient airlifted by Devon Air Ambulance was holiday-maker Doreen Baker, who was enjoying a week at Cofton Farm in Cockwood with her husband, brother and sister-in-law.

They were out for the day at Becky Falls when Doreen’s ankle gave way under her and she heard and felt a crack. Not realising how badly it was broken, Doreen attempted to get up and carry on with the walk. It was immediately evident, however, that Doreen needed medical assistance. Given the difficulty of access to the location where Doreen had fallen, the brand new Devon Air Ambulance was deemed the best form of transport.

As the helicopter landed in a nearby field Doreen remembers asking her husband to take some photographs. “Despite the pain I was in, I remember it all being rather exciting, especially as it was the first time I’d ever flown!” Doreen explained. “I was just so grateful to everyone involved in my rescue; the ambulance crew, the aircrew and all the hospital staff. I even had an extra week in Devon, albeit in hospital. To be the first patient to benefit from Devon’s Air Ambulance service was an honour – my story even made the news on television that evening and in the newspapers!”

We love Doreen's spirit and presence of mind, despite the pain she was in, to get the experience documented! Have you been airlifted by us? We'd love to hear from you.