This article. by Patient Liaison, Debbie Gregory, is from 2012. Since then we have flown over 25,000* missions (end 2017)

We know that Devon Air Ambulance Trust has undertaken over 18,000* missions since we started in 1992. Due to patient confidentiality, however, we only ever know the most basic of details about the missions our aircrews attend, such as gender, adult or child, where the aircraft was called to and where the patient was taken.

So it is always very gratifying to hear from the people we help. Sometimes it is the patients themselves who contact us, other times it may be a family member but it’s always interesting to hear from patients and to learn the details about their particular experience. We also understand, however, that there are times, when a patient knows very little about what happened to them, particularly if they were unconscious at the time of an airlift.

One particular advantage of hearing from our ex-patients is that we can then inform the aircrew who attended the incident; they always love to know that someone they’ve helped has made, or is making, a good recovery.

Also, there is an opportunity for our ex-patients to visit the Airbase, to see the helicopter and, perhaps, to meet one of the crew involved in their incident. Whilst these visits can be quite emotional, the overwhelming response is one of opportunity. An opportunity to ask questions, fill in the gaps and, of course, to thank the paramedics and pilot for the service they offered.

In keeping with changing communication trends, we now hear from our ex-patients in a variety of ways. Some prefer the traditional method of writing a card, a letter or an email, where others are now sending Facebook or Twitter messages.

One such message arrived recently via Facebook from Lyndsey:

“Cannot thank the Devon Air Ambulance enough and praise you for the work you do. You did an amazing job with my little boy yesterday and i am so grateful for the reassurance you gave me in the ride to Derriford. Mason will love his teddy too… Thank you so much again xx”

Little Mason, just a few weeks old, was airlifted to Derriford Hospital from his home near Kingsbridge, struggling with breathing difficulties. Whilst still in hospital a week later, he is making steady progress and his mum and dad are hopeful that he will be home soon.

And a message via Twiter from Claire: @DevonAirAmb hey guys thanks for Monday getting my little boy to NDDH quickly thankfully all good home now back to cheeky self #greatwork

This was Tweeted after 5-year old Fletcher was flown to North Devon District Hospital having fallen in the school playground and hit his head badly.

If you have, or anyone you know has, been airlifted, please contact Debbie Gregory on 01392 466666 ext *135, email [email protected] or contact us via Facebook or Twitter or by using our patient stories form. Thank you.