Needham Market: �5,000 donation for life-savers

A COMPANY, whose employee was saved by the air ambulance after he nearly beheaded himself with a chainsaw, has donated �5,000 to the EADT’s Lifesaver Appeal.

Tom Connelly, 22, a tree surgeon with the BTS Group, based in Needham Market, survived after cutting through more than a third of his neck and severing his jugular vein.

Today his company has backed the campaign with our sister paper the Eastern Daily Press, to raise �50,000 to purchase life-saving equipment for the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA), who saved Tom’s life.

Tom’s accident happened in March last year when he lost his footing and slipped while working with a chainsaw in a chestnut tree.

The chainsaw hit his neck and severed most of the blood vessels, including cutting through his jugular vein. Tom had also badly wounded his arm and was losing blood rapidly.

According to doctors, Tom had only four minutes before he would have lost too much blood for him to be saved.

Tom’s colleagues quickly got him to the ground and immediately called an ambulance.

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The ambulance arrived within four minutes and was followed by a land doctor from MAGPAS (Mid Anglia General Practitioner Accident Service) who used a specialised wound dressing to stem Tom’s blood loss.

An hour after the accident a sedated Tom was flown in the MAGPAS air ambulance to an awaiting surgical team at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Speaking about the importance of the East Anglian Air Ambulance’s service, Tom said: “If organisations like that were not about, I would not be here. People with severe injuries need that service, otherwise more people will die.

“I got moved to hospital so quickly by helicopter it helped massively. I cannot thank them enough and organisations like them.”

Just one day after the accident, and with repaired blood vessels, Tom was moved from intensive care and transferred to a specialist neurology unit at Stanmore.

Halley McCallum, managing director of the BTS Group, said: “We recognise that similar excellent work is being delivered by the East Anglian Air Ambulance and that its presence and capability is vitally important to us and to anyone within the region.

“The company is delighted to support its work and make this donation of �5,000.”

The Lifesaver Appeal will help the EAAA by the purchasing a new ventilator machine, ultrasound equipment and two blood analysers.

BTS Group’s donation will purchase one of the blood analysers.

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