This year our income has been hit hard due to the hundreds of fundraising events cancelled throughout Devon. 

Small cake sales and fundraisers planned by families and individuals, through to the many village shows usually held throughout the year simply disappeared overnight. Due to the uncertainty of whether groups would be able to gather in larger numbers, we were also forced to cancel the three main events in our fundraising calendar: the Motorcycle Ride out, Dragon Boat Festival and the Royal Marines Commando Challenge, all of which have been enjoyed by many over the years. So far this year, the combined loss of income for the trust is almost £2 million, leaving a huge hole in the finances of this life-saving service.

2020 has been tough, but we are proud to have overcome the obstacles its faced to maintain our service throughout the pandemic. We have remained ready to respond whenever and wherever we are needed, and when every second counts.

The There to Care 2020 Christmas Appeal features former DAA patients who have shared their stories and experiences, both to reinforce their gratitude and to raise awareness of the incredible skill of the aircrew and medical teams that were there to care, during what might have been the worst moments of their lives.

Patients like Harry for whom the run-up to Christmas 2016 was one that the Tansley family from Exeter will never forget, as on 20th December, the then 8-year-old Harry had a freak accident that left him fighting for breath.

Harry, with his dad, Simon, and brother, Ben, was out on his scooter on Exmouth seafront when he toppled, and the handlebar of his scooter caught him in the throat as he fell. The effect was immediate. Harry had a tear in his windpipe causing air to form under his skin with every breath he took. 

Simon immediately called 999 and first responders were swiftly on scene but called for emergency back up from Devon Air Ambulance. A helicopter with two paramedics and a Doctor was despatched, as well as an emergency car with a further two paramedics. Harry’s face, chest and stomach was swelling with every breath and upon arrival at the scene, DAA’s Critical Care team quickly assessed and began to treat their young patient. You can read more of Harry’s story along with those of many other families we have helped.

Please help to support us by donating to our Christmas appeal. Watch our campaign video

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