Help Air Ambulance NI reach patients like Damien by fundraising for the Belfast City Marathon

06 December 2018

Help Air Ambulance NI reach patients like Damien by fundraising for the Belfast City Marathon

The morning of the 20th March 2018 began just like any other for Damien Laverty (46). Damien left his home in Ballynahinch to go to work at Carryduff Building Supplies, but little did he realise how different his day would turn out to be.

Damien was working with heavy machinery on site when his right arm became trapped above the elbow. The alarm was quickly raised by one of Damien’s colleagues who immediately called the emergency services.

Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMs) paramedic Mike Patton was on the air desk when the call came through and he quickly tasked the air ambulance 

to the accident. The air ambulance arrived at the scene within nine minutes, along with members of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) road crew and the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS).

At the scene, the NIFRS worked to release Damien’s arm from the machinery and were assisted by one of Damien’s colleagues who was also a former part-time firefighter and played an important supporting role during the incident.

Throughout the entire ordeal, Damien remained conscious and remembers every moment right up until he was sedated. “I think my mind has blocked out the trauma”. Once anaesthetised by the HEMS Doctor, Damien was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital by road ambulance, accompanied by the HEMS team where he then underwent crucial surgery to insert metal plates into his arm.

Damien’s road to recovery has been long and he is likely to require three further surgeries, however, thanks to the initial care of the HEMS team, the work of the Belfast Trust and the follow up surgery, Damien’s arm has been saved. 

In recognition of the life-saving work being carried out by the air ambulance, Carryduff Building Supplies, Damien’s employer, recently held their annual charity breakfast in aid of Air Ambulance NI (AANI), raising over £16,000 for the charity.

Damien said: “The air ambulance costs £5,500 per day to run so every penny really does go a long way to making sure that this vital service can continue. I was delighted when Carryduff Building Supplies nominated the charity Air Ambulance NI for its annual fundraising breakfast. Being able to raise £16,000 on the day was a phenomenal achievement and is the highest amount that has ever been raised at this event so we we’re thrilled to be able to present this to the charity.”

You can help medics to fly and reach patients like Damien across NI by running, walking or wheeling your way to the finish line next May.  Join the rest of #TeamAANI at the 2019 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon and be #ARealLifeHero  

To register, please visit