Colchester: Helicopter flight dream comes true

A PARAMEDIC’S wish has been granted thank to the air ambulance crew.

Adrien Paine, 41, who is fighting a brain tumour, had his dream realised when his wife, Tracy, experienced a helicopter flight on board the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance.

The East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) paramedic met with EEAST’s chief executive Hayden Newton and soon found himself explaining about a surprise he wanted to arrange for his wife.

Former Royal Marine Commando Mr Paine, who lives in Colchester, said: “I wanted to surprise her for her birthday in May this year but unfortunately, due to my illness, this never happened.

“After speaking to Hayden, he made contact with Jane Gurney, CEO of Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT) and her dream soon became a reality.”

EHAAT went all out to make the trip of a lifetime possible for Mrs Paine who enjoyed a non-operational flight from Staverton to North Weald.

Mrs Paine said: “The experience of the helicopter flight was amazing, I hadn’t realised it would exceed my expectations as much as it did.

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“It was an absolute pleasure to mee the pilot, Craig, who had me feeling right at ease.

“While in the air Craig pointed out some of the sights and the most amazing thing was Blenheim Palace – the view of the grounds from the air was magic.

“I would sincerely like to thank everyone who made the experience possible and for making myself and my husband feel very welcome at the air base. It truly was an experience I will never forget.”

Cliff Gale, EHAAT’s operations director, said the organisation would normally decline such an unusual request but that the helicopter was due its annual service and was already making the flight, so it would not incur any cost to the charity.

He added: “So, it was decided that we could provide this once in a lifetime opportunity in supporting one of our local paramedics.”

Stuart Elms, EHAAT’s clinical manager, said: “We work very closely with EEAST and the charity is honoured to be in a position to fulfil a wish for Adrien, who has worked with some of our very own air crew including HEMS paramedic Dan Firmin.”

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