A boy is thrown over a garden wall in a freak road accident, an accident interrupts Christmas celebrations at Helimed HQ and a village green becomes an emergency helipad.
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If you're critically ill or seriously injured
in a place like this,
there's only one thing that can save you, and that's speed.
It doesn't matter where you are, this helicopter,
with its highly trained team of pilots and paramedics
will fly to your rescue at two and a half miles a minute.
These are Yorkshire's Helicopter Heroes.
When the people of England's biggest county dial 999,
there's a good chance help will come from the skies.
The Yorkshire Air Ambulance is ready to scramble 365 days a year,
and each one brings a new life or death emergency.
Today on Helicopter Heroes, 10-year-old Lucas has just been
hurled 20 feet over a wall after a road accident.
He's complaining of pain in his head. No neck pain, no back pain.
Now the team fear he may have a serious head injury.
It's Christmas, but there's no rest for paramedic Darren Axe on a 999 dash to the top of the Pennines.
A lot of pain in his back and it hurts to breathe.
There's a freak accident down on the farm.
I have some leg pain.
And the team ruffle a few feathers touching down on a village green.
Most mums and dads will tell you it's very difficult to just stand by
and watch if your son or daughter's in pain,
but sometimes these guys have to ask parents to do just that,
especially if a child has been seriously injured and they need to deliver vital treatment.
It's a beautiful but bitterly cold Sunday morning
and the start of another day for the Helimed team.
And it's not long before they get their first call.
In rural North Yorkshire, a young boy is lying motionless on the frosty ground.
This is every parent's worst nightmare.
He's been hit by a van and thrown over a garden wall.
Details are sketchy, but the crew knows the boy will need their help.
It's a sad fact that pedestrians rarely escape accidents like this without serious injury.
It sounds quite a serious accident. The crews are coming from,
I think Bridge and Harrogate,
so one of them should be on scene by the time we arrive,
but we've mobilised straightaway because the...
It sounds quite a serious accident.
Because we don't deal with children on a daily basis,
we've got to start thinking where we're going to go,
what we're going to treat and how.
They're heading for the small village of Darley near Harrogate.
The icy roads that appear to have played a part in the crash are no problem for Helimed 99.
Helimed 99, we're en route to your detail at Darley.
Our ETA approximately four, I repeat, four minutes. Do you have an update, over?
Ground control to Helimed 99, roger. We've got reports of a two vehicle RTC.
One of the... One of the reports stated it was vehicle versus van versus child.
Paramedics Paul Bradbury and Simon Cavanagh are particularly worried about their patient.
They both have young sons themselves.
He's gone right over the wall.
Maybe that field there?
-In that field or that field?
-That field would be better, but will you be able to get out of it?
It's a dry stone wall, we can climb over that, sure.
The only suitable landing site is a few hundred yards from where their patient is lying.
It's a bizarre scene.
The van has actually been hit by another car from behind
after stopping to let the boy cross the road.
The driver seemed to be OK, but the young boy's in a bad way.
He's called Lucas and he's just 10-years old.
-He's got a cut across the front of his head.
He's complaining of pain in his head. No neck pain, no back pain.
Lucas is bleeding heavily and he's freezing cold.
As well as being in pain,
paramedic Paul knows his young patient will be disorientated and very frightened.
-You all right?
-Oh, no. Where's mum?
Your mum's stood behind me. It's all right.
What we're going to do, Lucas, is roll you on to your back.
We'll be as gentle as we can with you, yeah? Good boy.
Can we just bring the board over this way?
Paramedic Simon knows Lucas has been lucky to survive the impact,
but his condition is giving everyone cause for concern.
We don't know whether he's been unconscious, but he's got a nasty laceration to his head.
We'll assess his injuries when we get him into either the warmth of the ambulance or the helicopter.
The second ambulance is just turning up now, so we'll be moving him quite quickly.
Apparently the young boy was walking his dog. This red van was coming up the hill, wanting to turn in,
wasn't sure if he was going to cross the road, so stopped to let him cross.
The grey car came down the hill,
collided with the van and ended up down the bottom there.
The lad and his dog got thrown over the wall, ended up
in the garden, and the van's stuck on to the wall there.
If you're a parent, you'll know there's nothing worse
than seeing your child in pain, and Lucas's mum, Christina, has rushed to her son's side.
The accident has happened outside the local pub, owned by Lucas's auntie and uncle,
and the whole family are in a state of shock.
One, two, three.
Well done, Lucas.
Good boy. That's fantastic. Well done.
Right, we'll just go across on your count.
Do you want Lucas...
-Don't be scared.
-Because you banged your head.
The next half hour will be vital for Lucas. The cuts on his head indicate the nasty head injury,
and the force of being thrown over the wall could be causing pressure to build up around Lucas's brain.
There's no more Paul and the team can do out here,
but Lucas needs specialist hospital treatment, and fast.
Coming up, concern grows for Lucas as he shows symptoms of a serious head injury.
-Oh, don't go to sleep yet.
-Don't go to sleep.
There's a narrow escape after a dramatic accident down on the farm.
And the partner of a man having a heart attack has to leave him in the hands of the Helimed team.
Oh, no, I didn't want to stay.
Now, the Helimed choppers are on call 365 days a year, and that includes Christmas.
Now, they normally manage to get some turkey, but often real life gets in the way of festive cheer.
It's Boxing Day, and paramedic Darren Axe is showing of his carving skills.
You can see why I'm not a surgeon, can't you?
The Air Ambulance is on call every day of the year,
but that doesn't mean they can't join in the Christmas festivities and it's turkey
and all the trimmings for Darren, dispatcher Dave and pilot Steve.
Elite for me!
But the Christmas period has come to a painful end for a couple enjoying a bike ride in the Pennines.
The damage to their bikes suggest this is a bad one.
They've both collided with a car and been thrown into the undergrowth.
Helimed 99 is on its way.
It's Boxing Day, people are out and about. They've been
knocked off and sustained some injuries.
We do have one of our volunteer doctors on the scene, Jez Pinnell,
with an ambulance crew, and he's requested our assistance to transport the patient.
I haven't got the full details on the injuries, but it doesn't bode well.
It takes less than 10 minutes to get to the Pennines.
It's freezing cold, and the cyclists have been lying in a foot of icy water for nearly half an hour.
Lot of pain in his back, saying it hurts to breathe. Abdomen pain.
By chance, flying doctor Jez Pinnell lives just around the corner
and has left a family get-together to lend a hand.
He's got a radial pulse.
Steve and Janet Hilton are keen cyclists, they even travel to watch the Tour de France,
but Steve's condition is giving Jez cause for concern.
He's got what appears to be fairly serious injuries. A lot of pain.
Pain in his back, tummy and his chest.
He's conscious and talking to us, which is a good sign,
but he's quite blue, he's quite shut down.
It's very cold out here, that's probably the reason he's so blue.
Paramedic Darren has the perfect piece of kit to get Steve warmed up.
A giant sleeping bag called a flectalon.
Watch your step, chaps.
The fleece-lined insulation will gently increase Steve's body temperature
and allow Jez and Darren to fully assess his injuries.
Put him down into that.
All right, matey, we're on our way.
Steve's clothes are soaking wet, but once in the helicopter
and out of the biting wind, he'll quickly start to warm up.
Both Jez and Darren know that collisions between cyclists and cars rarely have a positive outcome.
If could just slide that door shut so we can get him out of the wind.
He may be badly injured himself, but Steve's only worried about his wife.
Stephen, your wife's in the other ambulance. She's absolutely fine, mate, OK?
Janet has suffered minor injuries and will soon be on her way to hospital by road.
Steve's injuries won't be so easy to treat.
-I'm just going to chop some of your kit off you.
Where's your pain now, Stephen?
-In your tummy? Yeah, just here.
He's been in a ditch in his Lycra, so he's going to be freezing,
so we've got him in the flectalon blanket,
hopefully he'll get warm as quick as possible and to hospital.
Over 2,000 cyclists are killed or seriously injured on our roads every year.
Wearing a helmet and all the right safety gear could have saved Steve's life.
Just straighten your arm, that's a good man.
At this stage there's no time for Darren to worry about Steve's expensive lycra.
Going to be a sharp scratch again.
Steve needs emergency surgery on his abdomen.
Huddersfield Hospital is only minutes away by air, but Jez knows the team are running out of time.
We're bringing a chap in by helicopter who's got a rigid abdomen.
I suspect it's going to need laparotomy. We need a full trauma team, please.
Coming up, can the team prevent a Christmas tragedy?
The race to get their patient to hospital begins.
When everything else is all right, we'll be leaving.
10-year-old Lucas is booked in for a brain scan.
We're going to get you inside where it's nice and warm, OK?
And the Yorkshire weather is too much for a Californian holidaymaker.
Just really nauseous,
she went a little bit more, I was like, no, let's get back down to this bit.
Now, getting around on a farm is a lot easier if you've got one of these.
Quad bikes are now as much a part of many farmers' lives
as green wellies, but quads can land you in a lot of trouble.
OK, mate, so we'll just head to the mast, yeah?
Helimed 98 is flying south from Leeds to a farm on the remote Emley Moor,
famous for its huge TV transmitter mast.
We believe it's an incident which is involving sort of guys on quad bikes.
There's definitely one patient that's had an accident, had a head injury,
but the other two people are still missing,
so we don't know if they've actually been looking for
this guy or whether they've actually had an accident themselves.
-We're just coming overhead now, all eyes out.
Pilot Tim has to land the helicopter in a deep crop of oilseed rape to get to the accident.
Hey, mate. How are you?
This is a rural area, but there's plenty of help on hand, which is just as well.
It's clear three people were riding on one quad bike
when it plunged 30 feet down a wooded ravine into a stream.
This banking's gave way, so as the banking's collapsed,
it's caused the bike and all the riders and occupants to fall over into that, er,
canyon there, and then into the river.
-He's just complaining of some leg pain.
-Is there a further couple of casualties?
Yeah, there's one in a van at the top, and somebody in the van.
-So, no-one else down here?
So, with two patients accounted for, the Helimed crew deal with the most badly injured.
Farmer Gerald Parker has a serious head injury
and his back took a big hit when the bike went down the embankment.
Gerald, can you remember what's happened, sir?
We were trying to go out near t'stream when it slid in.
-We ran into t'stream...
-Right on top of us.
Incredibly, despite his injuries, Gerald has managed to drag himself
up the steep hill so he could be found.
No, not at all, or not really?
-There is a little bit of an ache there, is there?
Gerald's wife Margaret has heard about the crash and has come over from the nearby farmhouse.
She's understandably worried.
I just got a phone call to say could I come,
they'd had an accident with the quad.
Yeah, he's got head... And he's slightly confused, so...
His knee's giving him quite a bit of pain as well, so we're just going to fly him to Leeds, to OGI.
Flying doctor Tim Mole is keeping a close eye on Gerald's condition.
He was already on beta blockers for angina
and this accident would have put a strain on the healthiest heart.
Interestingly, your heart rate is a solid 60. Beta blocked, I'm sure.
Yeah, I'm sure. Yeah.
From hillside to hospital is less than 10 minutes at 150 miles an hour, and Gerald will soon be
undergoing a full examination by trauma doctors
at the head injuries unit of Leeds General Infirmary.
Back in the shadow of the Emley Moor Transmitter,
life on the farm has to continue without the boss for a while.
But just a few weeks later, Gerald is back at Horncliffe Grange farm.
Yeah, we were just travelling along looking for cattle,
probably not looking where I were going,
and all of a sudden it just hit a bump and down it went.
I'm usually quite safety conscious, and telling other people that I can't do that any more, now!
His head injury was potentially serious, but he's recovering well
and Gerald knows who he has to thank for his survival.
Well, yeah, he works for us, Dean. Yes.
Well, he got the other guy out first because
two of us finished up down in the stream and he got the other guy out and then he got the quad off me.
Well, if I wouldn't have done what I did, we'd all have drowned.
I were in that much pain, but when I saw Gerald under the bike
and all bent, like, all pain went, you know?
I knew I had to get him out or else he would have been gone.
If it hadn't have been for Dean we mightn't be here.
Gerald's wife, Margaret, is now a big fan of the Air Ambulance team who flew to her husband's rescue.
They were just superb.
The service that they give is unbelievable.
They did an absolutely fantastic job.
I couldn't praise them enough, really.
Coming up, concern grows for a cyclist critically injured at Christmas.
I feel a little bit sick.
You probably will. You've just had some morphine.
And pilot Steve has to land near the top of one of England's highest peaks.
Now, let's catch up on the case of 10-year-old Lucas,
knocked down and badly injured outside a country pub in North Yorkshire.
In the village of Darley, a mum looks on as her son lies seriously injured on the ground.
10-year-old Lucas was out walking his dog when he
became the unfortunate victim of a collision between a car and a van.
He's got a nasty head injury after being hit by the van and thrown over a garden wall.
I want to go to sleep.
No, don't go to sleep yet.
-Talk to us.
-You'll miss us if you go to sleep.
We'll get you somewhere comfy to sleep in a bit.
Drowsiness is a classic symptom of a serious head injury and it's a worrying sign.
Paul cannot let Lucas fall asleep, and a local policeman is on hand to help.
-Lucas, what's your date of birth again?
-20th May 1997.
'97. And where do you live again?
The paramedic's role is not just to treat a patient's injuries.
Paul must try to calm Lucas down and built up a relationship, a job made easier by the fact
that Paul's son is almost the same age as his patient.
Can you move this arm for me?
Can you lift it up, lift it up in the air.
Do it again.
Can you do it any higher?
Touch my hand with it, if you can. Good boy. Is that all right?
-And this one, this one.
Yeah. Fantastic, good.
That's it, Lucas.
All his limbs seem to be OK, but head injuries are notoriously hard to diagnose.
Lucas needs to be in hospital and, luckily for him, Harrogate is only minutes away by air.
Lucas enjoys spending time at his uncle's pub
and now he's being carried past it for an emergency flight to hospital.
Feed it on, feed it on, feed it on, feed it on.
It's rare the Helimed team can find a perfect landing site next to their patient,
and farmer's gates are just another occupational hazard.
Paramedic Paul's concern for his young patient is obvious.
He doesn't look very well, we're going to get off as quick as we can.
He's got a head injury, leg injury,
a possible chest injury, as well.
We've got a seven minute flight from here to Harrogate, so off we go.
Paul has been a paramedic for over 20 years and he knows that
at this point he can't lose concentration for a second.
Children can deteriorate very quickly
and Lucas's head injury could cause him to fit or lose consciousness at any moment.
Paul carefully monitors Lucas's heart rate and blood pressure, but all mum Christina can do is hope.
Having parents there is a bit of a mixed blessing.
Most of them are very good, and it calms the child down
having a family member or a parent there.
That lady was very...
Very much had her emotions under control.
She was obviously very upset,
but she was being very brave for her kid.
A trauma team is waiting to take Lucas to A&E
where X-rays and scans will reveal the full extent of his injuries.
Lucas, can you hear me? My name's Martin. I'm one of the doctors here.
We're going to get you inside where it's nice and warm, OK?
All right? Right, OK.
Children compensate a lot for injuries, so it's very difficult to
really assess them unless you're in hospital, so he's starting to lose a bit of
lucidity, if you like. He's started to, um,
want to go to sleep, he's feeling a little bit sick, so potentially he might have some sort of
head injury going on. Something inside his head, rather than just a puncture in his skull.
It's been a difficult job for Paul and all the rescuers, but they've
got Lucas to the specialist care of a hospital in just 30 minutes.
Lucas' friends and family are rushing to be with him,
but it's going to be an anxious few hours as they wait for news on the severity of his injuries.
Coming up, Lucas undergoes a brain scan and doctors are finally able to assess his condition.
And I join flying doctor Ben Wyatt on his rounds in the Pennines.
Now, most of us like to veg our way through the Christmas holidays.
Too much pud and no gym until New Year.
Now, it's not good for you, but as two superfit cyclists found out,
neither is hitting the road over the festive season.
It's Christmas time at Helimed HQ, but the team are needed in the Pennines to help a couple
whose Boxing Day bike ride has come to an abrupt end.
Flying Doctor Jez Pinnell lives around the corner and was first
to help Steve Hilton and his wife, Janet, who collided with a car.
She's on her way to hospital by road, but Steve has suffered serious internal injuries
and it's now up to the team to get him to emergency surgery in time.
Let's see what's going off.
Make sure that everything else is all right, mate, then we'll be leaving.
Dr Jez has already alerted his surgical colleagues at the nearby Huddersfield
Royal Infirmary and they're preparing for Helimed 99's arrival.
-Stephen, are you all right?
-Jez is part of a network of doctors
who take their lifesaving skills out of hospital.
He may have started his Boxing Day at home with the family,
but he's now travelling at 150 miles an hour 500 feet up.
My pager was activated because of this incident, I only live a mile or so up the road and
I wasn't doing anything apart from tidying up the kids' Christmas presents
so it was a good excuse.
I knew this road is quite fast so they were likely to have serious injuries.
This chap looks like he might have.
The helicopter has helped Steve get to hospital in just five minutes,
-but he's now suffering from one of the more unpleasant side effects of flying.
-How's your pain?
-Not too bad.
-Not too bad now.
-OK, mate. No worries.
I feel a little bit sick.
Yeah. You've been in a helicopter, had morphine.
We're going to get you into the ambulance now.
-I feel sick.
Strapped to a spinal board simply being sick can be a serious problem.
-You're going to be sick?
-You're going to be sick?
These are worrying symptoms.
Internal injuries are particularly hard to diagnose out of hospital and
without X-rays and scans there's no way of knowing whether Steve will make a full recovery.
Steve undergoes numerous tests and scans to reveal the full extent of the damage to his abdomen.
There's never a good time to be a patient in hospital, but Christmas
is particularly difficult despite the best efforts of staff.
Just two days later and Dr Jez is back in more familiar
surroundings checking on a patient he's been keeping a close eye on.
Quite amazed how quickly you've recovered.
I mean, you've had some serious injuries.
You've broken a bone in your back, some ribs, bruised your
lungs, got a nasty injury to your leg and a few days later you're sitting
out in a chair and you're raring to go to get back on your bike and get back to work.
I think that's pretty amazing.
-I'm determined to get back on my bike.
-Which I think is excellent.
-Well, it's thanks to yourself.
-Oh, you know...
-I appreciate it.
-Where you landed was in the bottom of a drainage ditch.
-I honestly don't know.
A six foot deep ditch, but it was like a soggy bog at the bottom.
-Well, I'm glad it was!
-So, it was the softest landing you could have...
you could have had, really. It just made it pretty awkward
getting you out because every time we stood next to you we were up to your knees in mud!
After thanking one of his rescuers, now out of hospital and on the mend,
Steve and his wife, Janet, want to thank the other medic who gave up his Boxing Day to come to their aid.
He's not back in the saddle yet, but Steve knows that the Helimed team have given
him the best chance to get back to the sport that he loves so much.
I'm... I'm determined. I want to get back on my bike.
I want to do what I enjoy doing and I don't see anything stopping me doing that.
It's always great when people that have been in such a bad position, you know, go back to doing what they
-always did and we can't, you know, ask for any better than that.
Coming up, there's a happy ending as 10-year-old Lucas recovers after a terrible road accident.
Well, my head was bleeding and my nose went a bit funny.
You don't have had to have had an accident to need the Helimed team.
Every day victims of critical illnesses find themselves taking off
for a life-saving flight to hospital.
The Pennine hills separate the north west and the north east of England.
They're beautiful, but remote.
If you get ill up here it can take a long time to get to you
and you can be a long way from hospital.
Doctor Ben Wyatt is one of the Helimed team of flying doctors.
He's a GP in the Pennine town of Ripponden.
He's a keen flyer, a former member of Mountain Rescue and now puts all
those skills together when he works with the air ambulance.
So, Ben, this is your day job and it's worlds apart from what you get up to on the helicopter, isn't it?
It's quite different. This is general practice in real life.
-You've got stacks of patients.
-How many do you cover here?
Nearly 9,000, and it's a semi-rural area, so although most of the population is here in
Ripponden and the villages around, there are some remote farm spots.
And in those remove spots have you ever seen the need to call in a helicopter yourself?
If someone was having a heart attack
in a remote area I would ask for an air ambulance if available.
Helimed 99's always racing the clock,
but when the patient has a heart attack the pressure's always on.
We're going to a little place for a
gentleman who we believe is having
a heart attack. The land crew have
identified he is having an MI and they've already pre-alerted Leeds
General Infirmary and we're able to get him there that bit quicker.
We have 90 minutes from the onset of chest pains until the patient
receives his primary angioplasty. So, we've got a
90 minute window to get this gentleman from his home address into the primary angioplasty site.
Primary angioplasty involves clearing out the blocked arteries around the heart.
-It doubles a patient's chances of survival, but the sooner it's done the better the outcome.
the magic 90 minutes from the point of this chap started
with the chest pains to getting him into the angioplasty suite.
This is what makes the difference for him.
I've visual with the ambulance now at one o'clock, Steve.
The patient has been driven from the edge of the Yorkshire Dales
to the local cricket pitch.
-Just looking at that pole, I think it is a flagpole.
-Yeah, it is.
The clock's ticking for Michael Mottram.
He's in his mid-50s and was taken ill soon after breakfast. His partner is terrified.
Oh, no, I didn't want to stay.
-Central chest pain at?
So, we were there 10 minutes later.
10 minutes later.
Michael is an hour's drive or more from the angioplasty unit at Leeds General Infirmary.
By road he'd never make it within the magic 90 minutes.
A little bit of morphine, all right? Help take that pain away.
Michael was taken ill suddenly, but his partner recognised the symptoms immediately and dialled 999.
-Is that making a difference?
-I had an idea.
Really sweating and ill and
couldn't breathe and pain started and that was it.
Within 10 minutes Michael's airborne and on his way to Leeds, 30 miles away.
Michael's had chest pains since 10.20,
so we're actually 70 minutes already into his window.
How's the pain? Still about a six?
We have six minutes left to go and we'll have him in the angioplasty suit within the time.
The firefighters at Leeds General Infirmary are used
to rushing patients four floors down from their rooftop helipad and into the angioplasty unit.
He had an aspirin and tramadol, and he's also had 10 milligrams of morphine.
Like most patients here, little more than an hour ago Michael
had no idea he'd need surgery today, but the medical team are already preparing for his operation.
It'll be done under local anaesthetic.
And they've beaten the clock.
Well, that's the 90 minutes. He's in the department.
They're just organising now a cath lab,
making it available and the person that's doing the procedure
has already got a patient on the table, so as soon as he's done, we'll come and consent.
In a few seconds a catheter will be passed through Michael's arteries and into his heart.
There the blood clots that caused his heart attack will be cleared
and tiny tubes inserted to keep the blood vessels open.
Michael will soon be home with a much reduced risk of a fatal heart attack in the future.
Back in Ripponden, and GP Dr Ben Wyatt is taking me on his afternoon patient visits.
Like all the Yorkshire Air Ambience doctors, when he flies with them he's a volunteer.
This is his regular job.
This is, of course, completely different to your work on the Air Ambulance
because that must be almost all trauma.
Most of it, yes, with the occasional medical case.
But you're right, it's mostly road traffic accidents and similar.
'Just as Ben arrives at his first patient's home, he gets a call.'
-'Hi, Ben. I'm sorry to bother you, but we've just got an emergency call
-'and Adrian's gone out on one emergency visit already.'
-OK. What's the problem?
'She collapsed into the chair and she's not really responding.
-'Her husband's just rung.'
-OK, can you organise an ambulance and we'll be there as soon as we can?
'Ben's elderly patient lives down one of the country lanes that crisscross the Pennine hills.
'He knows the route well and arrives before the ambulance.'
Well, this isn't exactly what Dr Ben had planned,
but if the call comes in, and you're the only doctor, you've got to go.
So, Ben, what happened in there with your patient?
Well, an elderly lady had been found collapsed
when her husband got back from the Post Office.
It's not quite clear what's happened.
She's picking up a bit now, but she's going to Accident & Emergency.
-Brilliant. That's what she needs.
-She's got the ambulance. The ambulance managed to get to this patient.
I wasn't expecting to get caught up in a genuine emergency
and the location made me realise just how vulnerable you can be when you're a long way from help.
Newton-on-Rawcliffe is one of the most isolated villages on the North York Moors.
It's no place to be taken ill, but that's what's happened today.
A holidaymaker has been struck down by a suspected pulmonary embolism -
a potentially lethal blood clot on the lung.
Well, it's one mile just here, mate.
There's that valley coming up, which is good.
'Pilot Matt Tachon's a New Zealander who's just joined the team
'and today his flying skills are going to be tested to the limit.'
-Just on the far side of the pond.
-I think that's about as close...
Where the ambulance man is, actually, I'm going to go into that little triangle there.
'The only suitable landing site in the village looks like the village green.'
We're going to follow the line of the road down over the pond
-and then into that little area just past the pond.
-Past the road, past the pond.
-We've got waves on the undershoot here.
-Right, I'm happy with that.
And we've got wires...
-The next set of wires as well.
'Newton's a popular holiday spot and the tourists have turned out to record Helimed 98's arrival.
'But some other local residents could present Matt with a challenge.'
We've got ducks on the pond, as well, underneath.
-Bird strikes can be lethal for helicopters.
-No wires on the...
-Yeah, there's wires coming across here, Matt, into this pole.
But there's none coming across the park itself is what I'm looking for.
-The ducks are clearing away to the left.
-Clear to your right, Matt.
-OK, I've got the telegraph...
-I've got a wire in front, Matt.
-Just a visual, yeah.
OK, and you are...
-OK, just going to...
Just turn it slightly.
-OK to bail?
-OK to go out.
Go out to the left if you can cos obviously the blades are slightly down on the right
OK, will do.
-Hi, are you all right?
-This is Keith.
'Holidaymaker Keith Wakely is 50.
'He was staying in a holiday cottage, recovering from a previous pulmonary embolism.
'Now it looks like it's happening again.'
-Are you OK there, Keith?
I don't think the village has seen anything like it before.
But, you know, we wish a happier event, obviously, and that the outcome will be OK for them.
It's the first time we've had anything like this happen to people in our holiday cottages,
so it's a bit of a shock all round, really, for everybody.
'Keith's condition could be very serious.
'Embolisms can create prevent patients taking in oxygen.
'Serious ones kill instantly.
'He needs blood thinning drugs as soon as possible.
'He's been in good hands. His wife is a former emergency nurse.'
He suddenly said he'd got chest pain and breathlessness.
Just after he'd had his breakfast, it came on completely out of the blue
and we called the ambulance and they've sent for the helicopter.
We're going to bob you on our stretcher.
-All right. Do you think you'll be able to manage just one step without assistance?
-I'll be all right.
-Yeah, just as quick as you can, mate.
'Today's daring landing was down to the local paramedics
'who realised the village green was an ideal helipad, and signalled Helimed 98 down.'
We had a walk round the village to find a clear area.
There's a lot of wires crossing over in the village, so it was like
the village green looks the safest, clearest area.
Now, pilot Matt faces doing it all over again.
OK, we're over the pond at this time.
Visual with all the ducks, they're still on the ground.
'Keith's on his way to hospital in Scarborough.
'His second embolism brought his holiday to a premature end, but, thanks to Helimed 98 and its crew,
he was receiving life-saving treatment within 10 minutes of lifting off from the village green.
'And the ducks also soon recovered.'
I'm back on the patient visits with Doctor Ben Wyatt, a GP who flies with the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.'
Do you want to show me where it was hurting?
Today he's checking up on patient Margaret,
who came to the surgery with a wrist complaint after a fall earlier in the week.'
I think that's probably about it for today.
-I'll see you in surgery. Can you come and see me next week?
-She's a nice lady, isn't she?
-Lovely. Absolutely lovely.
Yeah. A really, really nice lady.
'Doctor Ben volunteers for his Air Ambulance work.
'His GP experience compliments the paramedics' lifesaving skills,
'but in his Pennine practice he's aware that there's one thing that can catch anyone out at any time,
'the ever-changing Yorkshire weather.'
The problem for this area is people just getting out into a remote area,
getting cold and wet and getting hypothermia.
They're out in the wrong weather in the wrong conditions with the wrong...
wrong clothing and so on.
It's late in the afternoon on an unseasonably cold November day
and Helimed 99 has been scrambled to Pennygent,
a huge limestone peak on the borders of Yorkshire and Lancashire.
Lots of people get out there and sometimes get caught out by the conditions,
the terrain and, obviously, if they don't feel well it just all adds to the problems that they may have.
The only details we've got regarding this patient's condition
is that they're feeling dizzy and nauseous.
You know, that can be anything from feeling a bit dizzy and nauseous because we've not
had anything to eat this afternoon, they're a bit tired because they've doing a lot of walking, to,
you know, with some of the signs or symptoms for something more sinister, such as a heart attack
or other life-threatening conditions.
They know that for every 300 feet they climb the temperature drops by a degree.
Whatever is wrong with their patient hypothermia could soon set in.
Well, hypothermia causes all sorts of problems really in patients.
You know, they can quickly become unconscious.
Even a variation of as little as four degrees can really put them in a bad place.
They're heading for the third biggest peak in Yorkshire, all 2,300 feet of it.
Time's running out.
Once darkness falls, only a Mountain Rescue team will be able to help their patient.
They must find her fast.
We've only got about an hour or so before sunset,
so we have to get them off the hill to the hospital and back to base in the next hour and a half.
Luckily, the casualty is just below a rocky plateau that's one of the few landing sites on the peak.
-That's lucky. It looks as if there's a bit of an outcrop there.
Every rescue has a story behind it and this is stranger than most.
American tourist Jennifer Bock
is on a second day of a holiday from sunny California.
Her sister, who lives in the UK, thought she'd enjoy a brisk trip
to the top of the peak, but the cold has got to her.
A little bit of a steep bit she started feeling dizzy. "Oh, Lisa, I'm feeling really dizzy."
At first she said, "I'm scared."
I was like, "Oh, it's OK," I just thought it was the height. "I'm feeling really dizzy, Lisa."
"I don't feel good, I don't know if I can do this."
She went a little bit more, then it was like, no.
Let's just get back down to this bit
and then once we got there she's just feeling nauseous and...
Hypothermia kills hillwalkers every year.
Jennifer is very lucky.
As medical emergencies go this is almost as serious as it gets so high in the Pennines.
OK, you take it easy, sweetie.
Jennifer's sister is shocked at the weather's effects.
-She's an experienced walker and has few fears about trekking down the hill with her son.
We can make our way down. You can see the path, how clear it is.
This is the path there and it takes you straight down into...
The best thing to do is...
The Helimed team aren't so sure.
Can you get in touch with Fell Rescue and get them to start coming up
and they'll either meet them at the top or the bottom then they know they've actually got off OK, then?
While Jennifer's sister treks down to the nearest village,
the team's Californian patient is wrapped up in a thermal sleeping bag and on her way to hospital.
Hypothermia may kill, but its victims can recover rapidly
and just a few days later the sisters are visiting the Helimed base to thank their rescuers.
-There was like no blood or guts.
And a happy ending!
Because she was OK.
And I'm pleased to say all our patients are now on the mend, and one thing's for sure,
10-year-old Lucas could not have foreseen the accident that left him with a head injury.
At Harrogate Hospital doctors are assessing a young patient flown in by Helimed 99.
10-year-old Lucas Crosby has suffered head injuries
after being hit by a van and thrown over a dry stone wall.
He's lucky to have survived the impact,
but injuries like this are difficult to assess without specialist equipment.
Lucas' recovery now depends on how his young body copes with such a traumatic ordeal.
Lucas, can you hear me? My name is Martin, I'm one of the doctors here.
Right, we're going to get inside where it's nice and warm.
Lucas is rushed to the children's ward
where his condition is carefully monitored over the next 48 hours.
Patients who survive head injury often lose their memory and can even suffer changes in personality,
but Lucas has defied the odds and has made a remarkable recovery.
They took X-rays of my neck,
my legs, and my arms, I think, and I've got no broken bones.
Well, my head was bleeding and my nose went a bit funny
and, well, I went a bit numb in my arms.
No, don't go to sleep.
Don't go to sleep. Not asleep.
All I can remember was I just saw a van was coming down a road and
it all went... I just all went black and the next thing I know I just remember waking up in a field
and there was just blood everywhere on the grass and stuff, so I was pretty scared.
In fact, the doctors are so happy with his progress...
-That Lucas is being allowed home after spending
just two days in hospital.
I was astonished to see, you know, what a good recovery Lucas had made.
By the time, you know, we'd got there,
given he'd been hit by a van and knocked over a wall,
dropped six foot and landed on some rocks,
the fact that two days later he was discharged from hospital he made a fantastic recovery.
I think had that been anybody sort of 15 an over it would have been a different story.
And after a few more weeks rest, Lucas is back to normal.
Surprisingly for a 10-year-old, Lucas wanted to get back to school
as soon as possible, but he has one other ambition, to meet the team that helped save his life.
This is where you were.
Do you want to have a jump inside, Lucas?
You have a sit across there.
That's it. Sit in that one. That's where I sit.
Paramedic Paul Bradbury finds this one of the most rewarding parts
of the job and Lucas is getting a very special look behind the scenes.
Time for Lucas' first lesson in helicopter engineering.
So, all these dials here, they tell us where we're going,
how high we are, how fast we're going.
So, how fast you think it goes, this helicopter?
Yeah, around about 140mph it'll travel at.
It was excellent to see Lucas.
Last time I saw him he was looking quite a lot worse than that.
The fact that he was extremely pale, not talking a great deal and in quite a lot of pain.
Working on the Air Ambulance, it's so varied.
The fact that some days you know you've made a difference to somebody.
The fact that you've got them to a specialist unit and as a result of the Air Ambulance,
what we've done and also what the specialist unit's done has saved somebody's life.
I think the fact that Lucas is here today,
he's got another 70, 80, 90 years in front of him is fantastic.
It could have been a totally different story.
When Helicopter Heroes comes back -
there's an accident in a dairy and a worker is trapped in a machine.
A piece of metal has gone all the way through his hand.
A trainee journalist hits the headlines when he crashes his car.
We've got a potential sucking chest wound there.
The team return to the scene of a rail disaster for another life-or-death emergency.
You know, the carriages were in that field.
And up in the Peak District, a girl on a go-cart needs help.
Can you move all your arms and legs? Yeah, you can?
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
A boy is thrown over a garden wall in a freak road accident, an accident interrupts Christmas celebrations at Helimed HQ and a moorland village green becomes an emergency helipad.