Danny and his school friends were celebrating their last day of term at a farm back in September 2021. They were chatting at the top of the haybarn late into the night when the haybale Danny was sitting on tipped and he fell some distance, seriously injuring his chest.  

The farm was remote and phone signal unstable, but Danny’s friends sprang into action to get him the help he needed quickly.

Due to the severity of Danny’s injuries, the Devon Air Ambulance crew were dispatched. The clinicians assessed him on scene and it was clear her would need to be conveyed to Derriford Major Trauma Centre in Plymouth as quickly as possible.  

A fundraising Thank You

Following his incident, Danny was invited to our Eaglescott airbase by the Patient and Family Support Team to meet the crew.  
Rowan said:

I have to say it is a fantastic service and it really does make a difference, equally the same gentleman contacted me shortly after the incident to follow up and see how Danny got on in hospital and I thought that was amazing.

Along with family and friends, Rowan and Danny have supported Devon Air Ambulance ever since. In 2022, the father and son duo took part in the Coast-to-Coast challenge, walking more than 60 miles between Westward Ho! and Plymouth Hoe to raise funds for DAA. Of this challenging walk, Rowan said:  

‘I was walking with my boy, and it was amazing. He was very severely injured and is an incredibly lucky boy. As we were walking through Dartmoor, we saw the helicopter passing overhead too!’  

Danny’s dad already had connections to Devon Air Ambulance as he was in the same school year as Ceri Thomas, the son of our founder, Ann Ralli. Ann began the Ceri Thomas appeal following the tragic loss of her son when he was knocked from his bicycle near Sidmouth in 1986. When Ann asked doctors what could have saved her son, she was told that the quicker a patient receives treatment, the better their chance of survival. This stayed with Ann, and she launched the Ceri Thomas Appeal to raise funds to get an Air Ambulance for Devon.  

Speaking about Ann’s hard work all those years ago, Rowan said, ‘The one thing I say to everyone is that Devon Air Ambulance is the one charity you never know that you might need, and that is why it is always our chosen charity, especially now after Danny’s accident.’ 

We are so grateful to the many patients who generously share their stories with us, and to those who go on to raise lifesaving funds for the charity. If you have a story to share then we would love to hear from you. 

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