A father-of-two whose life was saved by the quick response of the local air ambulance is urging people to support a campaign to support the charity that funds the service.
James Woodgate, aged 38, from Clipston in Northamptonshire was jogging along a country road when he had a serious cardiac arrest.
A passing motorist found him after he had collapsed, and stopped and gave him CPR and another driver called 999 and went to a nearby village where there was a defibrillator. The air ambulance arrived at the scene, took over his treatment and transferred him to hospital in Coventry.
Almost two years after the incident, Mr Woodgate is now supporting the Give an Hour to Save a Life campaign that is being run during Air Ambulance Week – September 17 to 25.
Mr Woodgate, who works as a Communications Manager, is now jogging twice a week after being fitted with an implantable cardiverter defibrillator (ICD) device. He is in good health and attends regular check-ups at hospital.
He said: “I am very lucky to be alive as the survival rate for out of hospital cardiac arrests is very low. If it wasn’t for a series of events, including the air ambulance coming quickly, I wouldn’t be here today.
“What they do is fantastic – and it is free. You never know when you, your family or friends might need the air ambulance. You hope it will never happen to someone you love but I am living proof that it can and the air ambulance saves lives.”
The Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance and the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance are both taking to the streets this national Air Ambulance Week to hand out yellow cross pin badges in exchange for donations. Last year’s campaign raised £25,000.
People are being urged to wear the yellow cross badge as a visible symbol of support for the air ambulance crews.