Throughout 2017, we are backing a campaign by Wiltshire Air Ambulance to raise the remaining £1.25m needed to complete its new airbase at Semington. Each week, we will highlight one of the many reasons why the air ambulance is so crucial to the county

JASON Cook never thought he would need the services of Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

The gas engineer was covering a shift for a colleague who was attending a wedding when he was involved in a serious accident with a 20-tonne lorry.

The collision, at a crossroads in Grittleton, resulted in his van being pinned against a stone wall, crushing the entire side and front of it.

A land ambulance paramedic called for Wiltshire Air Ambulance after Jason showed signs of possible life-threatening injuries. Jason was cut free from his van by firefighters and was transferred to the helicopter and flown to Frenchay Hospital, near Bristol.

Jason, 29, who lives with his fiancée Adele Saunders in Covingham, Swindon, said: “The extremely quick response and flying time of Wiltshire Air Ambulance meant they made the difference between life and death.

“I suffered a shattered jaw, glass cuts and a few bruises. I was extremely lucky not to suffer brain damage, a fractured skull, internal bleeding, organ damage and broken legs.”

Following the accident on March 3, 2012, Jason spent four days in hospital and underwent two operations on his jaw. He recovered and was able to return to work five weeks later.

Jason, who now runs his own plumbing and heating company, said: “I am so thankful to Wiltshire Air Ambulance and the other emergency services who attended to me when I had my accident. I hold a special place in my heart for everyone who works for Wiltshire Air Ambulance, as the work they do is so amazing and ultimately life-changing.”

The former Dorcan School pupil met the air ambulance crew who came to his aid and to give something back he plays the charity’s lottery and has signed up to Give As You Live, an online initiative where retailers give a donation to Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

Jason has also made a donation to Wiltshire Air Ambulance through his company, Valiant Gas Limited. To mark the anniversary of when he was airlifted he ran a promotion, donating £5 for every boiler he serviced.

He said: “Without funding, Wiltshire Air Ambulance would not be able to operate and they need all the help they can get. We can all help in our own way to keep Wiltshire Air Ambulance flying - after all I never imagined I would be needing their services.”

  • You can make a donation via a special Airbase Appeal website which will process your Gift Aid too, or text BASE17 to 70070.