Jo takes on mud, sweat and tears to keep charity flying!

Sitting on your sofa watching your three-year-old son play is something most parents take for granted. However for Jo Williams this is a precious moment, as two years ago Taran was seriously injured and almost didn’t survive. Without the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity he might not be here today, and this happy family moment wouldn’t be taking place.

Jo will never forget the day she received a call saying Taran had been hit by a car and was being taken to Bristol Children’s Hospital by air ambulance. She is so grateful for the care and expertise provided that day by Critical Care Paramedic Christian Wiggin and Critical Care Doctor Scott Grier, that she is taking on the fearsome Battle of Lansdown to raise money for the charity. Jo said:

“When Taran was injured my emotions were all over the place, it was an awful day. I really dread to think what would have happened if it wasn’t for GWAAC. That’s why I wanted to do something to raise money for them, and I didn’t see the point in doing something small. I wanted to do something tough that would challenge me, and the Battle of Lansdown seemed perfect.”

It is every parents’ worst nightmare to think that their child might be seriously injured enough to need the services of an air ambulance. For Jo this became a reality in August 2015 when Taran, then aged 14 months, was hit by a reversing car in Wiltshire, suffering a fractured skull and shoulder and severe grazing to his face, head and shoulder. He needed expert help fast, and GWAAC were called. They lifted off from their base in Filton, and were by Taran’s side in just 15 minutes.

Critical Care Paramedic Christian Wiggin and Critical Care Doctor Scott Grier were concerned about the severity of his head injury, and the distress he was in. Our crew carry more advanced drugs than are available on a land ambulance . They were able to manage his pain and put him in a safe condition to be airlifted to the Bristol Children’s Hospital, which is the specialist hospital for children in the region.

On his arrival at hospital Taran was assessed by doctors and taken to the high dependency unit. He stayed there for two days before being moved onto a normal ward. The next day, much to the relief of his family, he was discharged. Now 18 months later he is a happy, cheeky little boy, with a love of hats and dinosaurs!

Jo knows that things could have been so different. To show her gratitude, Jo will be taking part in the Battle of Lansdown on Sunday March 19th. This gruelling challenge is run by Extreme Events UK, and is a 10km course with 35 testing obstacles over extreme terrain. GWAAC is the event’s charity partner, and receives £1 from every person who signs up. Anyone who signs up to run with Team GWAAC will receive a 10% discount to the entry price.

Last year the charity attended 1,735 jobs, of these 152 were in Wiltshire. Despite the urgent need for the service GWAAC, receives no day to day funding from the Government or National Lottery, and relies on the people they serve to raise the £2.6 million needed a year to stay operational. Any money people raise through sponsorship for the Battle of Lansdown will help towards this target. Community Fundraising Coordinator for Bath and North East Somerset Samantha Roberts said:

“It was so lovely to meet Taran and to see how well he is doing. This is just one example of a family that are still together thanks to the Critical Care Team. It is great that Jo is taking on the Battle of Lansdown for us, and I hope that her story will inspire more people to get involved. If you want to take on a race with a difference then get in touch, we would be delighted to have you as part of our team!”

Are you inspired to take on the Battle of Lansdown with Jo? All you need to is fill in the form to get your discount code and sign up! If you’ve got any questions, email info@gwaac.com or give us a call on 0303 4444 999.

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by Andy Crow