“I fell 15 feet, landing on my back on concrete, after a football match at Wembley. I fractured my skull and broke six bones in my back. It was the last day of the season when Aston Villa played Arsenal in the FA Cup Final. That day, I came dangerously close to never walking again, close to not living,” says Ian.
Ian has been a football fan since he was seven years old. A season ticket holder of 20 years, he has been to over a thousand matches before turning 40. He only cut down football when his first daughter, now three years old, was born. Ian’s mistake on that fatal day was trying to get an oversight of the situation at the tube station where the football fans were being held up by the police to prevent overcrowding. Should they queue, take a taxi or walk? As Ian was climbing a nearby wall to look around, little did he know that few minutes later he will be in London’s only medical emergency helicopter on his way to the hospital.
London’s Air Ambulance landed right by the Wembley stadium. “The doctor and paramedic from London´s Air Ambulance put me in an induced coma and packaged me securing my spine to prevent further spinal injury. I was millimetres away from puncturing my spine cord and it is still unreal for me to think that I could have been paralysed today if I were moved in a wrong way.
“The next thing I know I woke up in the hospital. For four days, I had to lie in exactly the same position, knowing that every little movement can paralyse me for the rest of my life. The spinal surgery brought a flood of relief. It was successful. I would walk again.”
“I am not an emotional person but looking out of the hospital window, I got emotional because not only I, but my daughters as well were so close to having their lives turned upside down. Only ten weeks ago I didn’t even know if I would be here at all to see my two daughters grow up and today, not only can I walk but I can lift my youngest one again. It’s a miracle in my eyes.”
“If this hasn’t happened to you, you take things for granted. You don’t know what other people do for others. Massive thank you to everyone who supports London’s Air Ambulance. I might not have walked or lived if it wasn’t for your support. Everyone who took care of me was outstanding – London’s Air Ambulance, the London Ambulance Service and the staff at The Royal London Hospital and in my local hospital. My mum is registered to donate to London’s Air Ambulance every month and I do what I can to help London’s Air Ambulance get a second helicopter. It has opened my eyes.”