A BALA family has pledged to spend a year raising funds for Wales Air Ambulance, which saved the life of a young man involved in a horrific crash.
22-year-old Jack Parry is lucky to be alive after suffering a catalogue of injuries from a motorbike crash while between Bala and Llandderfel on September 24, 2013.
Jack received life-saving medical assistance thanks to Wales Air Ambulance and he arrived home in Llandderfel five weeks after spending nine days in intensive care, undergoing five operations including an 11-hour procedure to repair several of his broken bones.
Jack has been recovering well and will not be paralysed as doctors initially thought.
But the family received bad news last week as doctors said Jack has likely lost the use of his right arm.
But Jack insists he will prove the doctors wrong.
He said: “They said it won’t work again but I am refusing to believe it, it will work.
“I’m keeping positive, I was out of hospital in five weeks and the doctors didn’t think I would be out until after Christmas.
“I’m off my crutches now but have a limp I won’t be running anytime soon.”
Jack and his friends are showing their gratitude to the Wales Air Ambulance with a 12-month fundraising campaign, which has so far raised more than £4,500 for the charity.
So far activities have included a sponsored head-shave, a fundraising 50th birthday party and a 12-hour charity dart-a-thon in Bryntirion Inn, Llandderfel.
Jack said: “The last thing I remember about the accident was leaving work really, but I’ve been told by people the air ambulance paramedics were absolutely superb.
“They saved my life, I wouldn’t be here without their help.”
Jack suffered a number of serious injuries, including fractures to both wrists and thumbs, three separate fractures to his back, a broken clavicle and femur, a full thickness burn to his right leg, a punctured chest and severe nerve damage to his right side.
The Welshpool helicopter took 12 minutes to reach Jack and flew him for specialist treatment at the trauma unit at University Hospital of North Staffordshire, Stoke.
Jack’s mother Karen said: “It was the flight from the air ambulance which we now know saved his life.
“We spoke to the specialists that said he would have died on the way here if he had travelled by road, which just shows how vital a service the air ambulance is.
“He’s making progress, and we’ve since received news that the nerve damage down his right side is not as bad as first thought, which is positive. They initially thought he might be paralysed.”
Charity events in the pipeline include a group of Jack’s friends running the Conwy Half Marathon, a sponsored zip wire and parachute jump, and a fundraising football match between Betws y Coed FC, which Jack plays for, and residents of his home village.
“It’s just our way of saying a massive thank you for saving Jack,” Karen said.
Angela Hughes, chief executive of the Wales Air Ambulance, said: “We’re all really pleased to hear that Jack is back at home recovering from the collision.
“The air ambulance regularly attends serious road traffic collisions, and it’s thanks to the tireless fundraising efforts of our supporters that we are able to make life saving interventions like this.
For more details about Wales Air Ambulance, its work and how you can support it, contact 0844 85 84 999 or visit www.walesairambulance.com.
See full story in the Free Press