Hadleigh/Wattisham Airfield: Soldiers raise money for Essex Air Ambulance after boy injured in road crash

The Essex air ambulance helicopter

The Essex air ambulance helicopter - Credit: citizenside.com

A TEAM of soldiers are running almost 7,000 miles to support an air ambulance charity which rescued a nine-year-old boy when he was injured in a road crash.

Now aged 10, Lewis Cullen of Allen Road, Hadleigh, had to have a leg amputated after the collision happened in May 2012.

Soldiers serving in Afghanistan from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, Wattisham Airfield, are taking on the gruelling challenge.

The 18-strong group are eating up the miles on treadmills or going round the designed route at their base – Camp Bastion - for the Essex Air Ambulance.

Lewis’s father William, 38, said: “They are completely charity funded. The work they do in Essex and Suffolk is second to none. On the day that we needed them they were there. They were there pretty much the same time as the land ambulance.

“It is a first class service with world class professionals. It does cost an absolute fortune maintaining a helicopter and keeping it going. With the current economic climate it’s becoming harder and harder, the more publicity they get the better. The service is provided for the community but you never actually know when you need it.

“I truly believe if he had ended up on a land ambulance going to Ipswich with the way it was with traffic it would have taken 30-40 minutes to get to. We were in Addenbrooke’s Hospital in 20 minutes, which is a specialist hospital and provided him with specialist care, he went into the intensive care unit and had surgery.”

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Within two months of the crash Lewis had a prosthetic limb fitted and was walking again after a couple of weeks. Lewis, a student at Beaumont Community Primary School, Hadleigh, also broke his collarbone and elbow in the accident. The team aim to raise £3,000 for air ambulance. To donate go to www.justgiving.com/BastionAndBack

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