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Surviving sister's brave lifesaving legacy

Surviving sister's brave lifesaving legacy

PHOTO CAPTION: Louise Cade and Magpas Air Ambulance Dr Andy Lindsay talk about road safety at The Duke of Bedford School assembly

It was around 3:30pm on 21st January 1994; Louise Cade and her sister Sally Cade and were coming home on the School bus, on what felt like just another normal school day. At the time, the family were living just outside Thorney near Peterborough. Six year old Sally and eight year old Louise got off the bus and waited for it to pull away. They held hands, looked both ways and were crossing the road when a car - seemingly out of nowhere - collided with them at high speed. Louise’s family will never forget the sound of the loud bang the car made on impact.

Louise explains, “My mum got to us as soon as she could. My sister Sally and I were lying in the road. My mother says Sally was smiling at her, whilst I was unconscious. She remembers noticing Sally had fluid coming out of her ear and she knew then it wasn’t a good sign.”

Back in the 1990’s, doctors from around the Eastern Region volunteered their own time with Magpas Air Ambulance and as result; Dr Richards, Dr Knights and Dr Jackson (who all worked at Thorney Surgery) were called out to Sally and Louise. They did everything they could to save the sisters’ lives - in what had become truly devastating circumstances. Sally was first to be taken to hospital in an ambulance (with a police escort), shortly followed by Louise, with the Magpas Doctors on board. Sally died several times en route, as did Louise, but the Magpas doctors repeatedly brought them back to life.

Once at the hospital, Sally and Louise were next to each other in the ICU being treated. Louise explains, “Sally was on a ventilator but sadly died from head trauma and organ failure on the 23rd January.”

Louise had to have gravel sucked out of her lungs (one of which collapsed), she suffered a serious head injury and multiple broken bones, as well as a stroke. She says, “My family tells me I died several times and was not expected to survive. The last time I died, everyone thought I had gone when suddenly I came back - gasping for air, trying to rip the ventilator tubes out of me.”

Her parents were told she would probably not walk and talk again, but Louise was determined to get back to normal. At Sally’s funeral, the family asked only for donations to be made to Magpas Air Ambulance and fundraised for a defibrillator for the charity to use. Not long after, the same Magpas Doctors were called out to another little girl called Rebekah; the defibrillator bought by Louise’s family, was used by Magpas to save her life that day.

Louise has since lost most of her memory of what life was like before the accident. She explains, “It’s really upsetting I can’t remember much about my best friend who I miss dearly - but the motivation, determination and strength to live on has made me the person I am today.” Louise, who is 31, now feels ready to tell her story for the first time. She wants the memory of her sister Sally to live on, by raising awareness for Magpas Air Ambulance who came to her rescue all those years ago. As a result, Louise is teaming up with Magpas former patient Rebekah’s mum - to take part in the Magpas annual skydive this July.

Louise sums up why she’s embarking on such a courageous fundraising venture after everything she’s been through, “My sister means a great deal to me and, like Rebekah and her mum, I want to thank the charity that did so much for me on that terrible afternoon.” Louise continues, “Magpas Air Ambulance trains senior doctors and paramedics, from all around the UK, to bring the hospital to patients in life-threatening situations. I want to gather as many sponsors as I can and help Magpas Air Ambulance give more lifesaving care to others in their time of need.” The link to Louise’s fundraising page is: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JumpingwithSally

Recently, Louise went back to The Duke of Bedford School to talk at the school assembly. Louise told her story, raising awareness about road safety and about the crucial lifesaving care Magpas Air Ambulance delivers, by land and air, in the East of England and beyond. She summed up why this moment was so important to her, “I just want the children to take on the message of road safety and stay safe. I hope the children will take this on board and tell their parents - so that they can be more aware of children on the road. I want to inspire other people with my story.”

Louise was also joined by Magpas Dr Andy Lindsay. He explained how Magpas Air Ambulance offers pioneering training to doctors and paramedics wishing to specialise in Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM), for which the charity is renowned in the medical world. He also summarised how he felt about being part of the gathering, “It’s wonderful to see Louise looking so well. Spreading the word about road safety to young children is an incredible investment of our time. It’s great to capture their attention and a real privilege to talk to them”.

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The ultimate wakeup call - 10 mums from the East reach out after almost losing loved ones

The ultimate wakeup call - 10 mums from the East reach out after almost losing loved ones

“As a mum, there are no words for when one of your babies (however old they are) has been involved in a terrible accident. Nothing can prepare you for that phone call, I can’t really remember much of the journey to the hospital; I was hysterical, I could barely breathe and every minute felt like the longest hour”.

What would you do if you were going about your usual business, when suddenly you received a phone call saying your child or a loved one had been involved in a severe medical emergency and they were fighting for their life? Ten mothers from Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex have first-hand experience of the heart stopping moments described above. As a result, they are gathering at a crucial lifesaving location, to reach out to other families across the Eastern Region and beyond about what really matters. The reason? To highlight how precious life can be and to emphasise the ripple effect on the family unit, after nearly losing someone so close.

On 4th August this year, golfing enthusiast and mother from Ipswich Sally Crosbie, was told her son Ben had been involved in a freak accident. Ben had been loading a glass hearse onto a lorry (ready for a funeral the following day) when the winch failed and Ben found himself trapped between the hearse and the end of the lorry, suffering serious, crushing injuries and needed urgent care.

Mother of four, Helen Lees from Cheshunt in Hertfordshire, will never forget the day her son Sam (who was living in Essex) was involved in a horrific motorbike accident - one that was so serious, his super bike was split in half. The accident happened in Red Lodge (in Suffolk) on 8th September 2012, leaving Sam suffering two strokes, a broken skull and multiple fractures to his body.

Laura Novak from Hartford in Cambridgeshire will always remember the time her son Finley stopped breathing and turned blue, when he was just 1 day old. Laura explains, “It will be forever engrained in my mind”.

Shara Watt from Hitchin heard the traumatic news that her son Christopher Inns had suffered potentially fatal injuries when he was involved in car and motorbike collision on 1st October 2012. The impact of the incident threw Chris up in the air, landing some distance down the road, where he sustained skull, neck and pelvic fractures along with severe leg, arm and hand injuries.

Norfolk based mum of two, Susan Yaxley from Holme Hale, was warned by police she should “prepare for the worst”, after her husband David suffered life-threatening injuries when an HGV collided with the tractor he was driving back on the 9th August 2010. The memory of this has stayed with their daughter Rebekah (who has since had two sons).

It was a cold frosty evening on 25th January 2005, when Mum Diane Allen from Chatteris, was alerted to the fact that her son Ollie had been involved in a motorbike accident and was fighting for his life. Ollie was 17 years old at the time.

Thankfully, all the mothers described above (and many others) met at the Magpas Air Ambulance Operations Base recently to highlight one common outcome; their loved ones were all given a second chance at living and having families of their own, largely thanks to the enhanced critical care they were given at the scene of their incidents by our medical teams. Mum Helen sums things up by saying, “Every time I think of Magpas Air Ambulance, it just brings me to tears - with the thought that without them my son Sam wouldn’t be here. I want to reach out to other mums and say get involved with this organisation. People always think a shocking incident like the one Sam had will never happen to you or anyone in your family. But if it does, you never know when you might need their help! That’s why it’s so important to support them this Christmas…you just don’t know”.

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M1 nr Northampton, van & lorry collision - Magpas called to scene

M1 nr Northampton, van & lorry collision - Magpas called to scene

At 6am yesterday morning (Tuesday 2nd), Magpas Doctor Dave Leverton and Paramedic Ollie Robinson arrived between J16 and J15 of the M1 near Northampton, via the Magpas Rapid Response BMW. A road traffic incident had taken place, involving a van and a lorry, leaving a man (in his 30's) trapped.

The Emergency Services worked together to remove the patient safely from the vehicle he was in. The Magpas Doctor and Paramedic assessed the man who suffered a leg injury and worked alongside an EMAS Ambulance Service Paramedic Crew to splint his limb. The patient was taken to Northampton hospital by land ambulance in a stable condition.

A Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service Crew and Northamptonshire Police were also present.

This is all the information we have.

Tell your friends and families about us and help to spread the lifesaving word, so that we can be there if you or loved one ever needs us. Thank you. #Magpas247

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The difference YOU are helping to make at Magpas 24/7

The difference YOU are helping to make at Magpas 24/7

In the last two months, since we launched our extended Magpas 24/7 service, 126 patients in medical emergencies have needed us in the East of England and beyond. That’s 48 more patients who have been treated by our highly trained Magpas Doctor and Paramedic teams, by land and by air, compared to this time last year. 

This is the difference your support has helped us to make.

Tell your friends and families about us and help to spread the lifesaving word, so that we can be there if you or loved one ever needs us. Thank you. #Magpas247

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Former patient David meets the Magpas Paramedic who helped to save his life

Former patient David meets the Magpas Paramedic who helped to save his life

The morning of August 9th in 2012 started off like any other day for David Johnson. He was in the car on his way to work, when he was suddenly involved in a road incident. His car left the road and collided with a tree, leaving him with life-threatening injuries.

The Magpas team on shift that day, Paramedic Dan Read and Doctor Darren Reid, were called to the scene of David’s accident, arriving in the Magpas Rapid Response BMW shortly after the collision. David had suffered a serious head injury. The Helimedix anaesthetised David, providing him with specialist trauma care, putting him into a medically induced coma to help protect his brain. They then took him to Addenbrooke’s Hospital by land ambulance (monitoring his condition all the way), where he spent the next 3 months recovering.

Earlier this month, Cambridgeshire resident David, along with his wife Leisa and son Lucas, finally got to meet Dan, the Magpas Paramedic who helped to save his life that day.

“It was wonderful to visit Dan with my family and say thank you. Because of the immediate response from the excellent Magpas team, and the specialist care provided by Dan and Darren that day, I managed to make a full recovery. I hate to think what would have happened to me, and my family, without that care. My son was so happy to meet the team that saved his Daddy’s life.” David said.

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Whippet Coaches have been sticking their support for Magpas on all their buses

Whippet Coaches have been sticking their support for Magpas on all their buses

Photo caption (left to right): Roger Birch, Whippet Coaches Operations Manager, and Whippet driver Paul Porthouse, with a Whippet bus and the Magpas Helimedix stickers 

Next time you’re out and about in the county you may well notice the Whippet buses proudly sporting a lifesaving message. Why? The Cambridgeshire-based coach company wanted to help spread the word about air ambulance charity Magpas Helimedix to their passengers and passers-by. Coincidentally, the colours of the Magpas stickers and the Whippet buses are the perfect match, making the combination an interior designer’s dream!

Matthew Wooll, Commercial Manager at Whippet, says, “Whippet Coaches recognises the important work Magpas does in our local area and we want to help raise awareness of the charity. The stickers on our vehicles will be noticed by thousands of bus passengers who travel in and around Cambridge every day.”

Antonia Brickell, Head of Communications at Magpas, says, “Magpas are very grateful to Whippet for showing their support. The more people who see our name around the county and beyond, the better. It’s thanks to the support of the public and companies like Whippet that we can continue to do what we do. For more information please log on to www.magpas.org.uk.”

Find out how you can sponsor Magpas by contacting the Fundraising Team on 01480 371060 (Option 2), or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Spontaneous donation for frontline medical care

Spontaneous donation for frontline medical care

Insurance and Financial services group Gibbs Denley immediately put their hands in their pockets after they were given an exclusive tour of the Magpas Helimedix Base at RAF Wyton recently. This came about after choosing to support Magpas as their Charity of the Year.

The visit to the base made a considerable impact on the group, so much so that they made a generous financial donation to the emergency medical charity there and then. Their support will help Magpas Helimedix continue to bring A&E care to those in life threatening situations, throughout the East of England and beyond.

Gibbs Denley, who are based in Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds, will also be organising dress down days, raffles, and coffee mornings as part of their Charity of the Year fundraising for Magpas.

After visiting the Helimedix Base, Elaine Pink, Marketing and Development Manager at Gibbs Denley, said, “We’re really impressed by the service Magpas Helimedix provides. The dedicated team of volunteer paramedics and doctors give up their own time to help run this amazing life-saving service, making it even more important that as a company we will do what we can to help.  This local charity relies entirely on public donations; we can help by raising funds and awareness.”

Debbie Florence, Head of Fundraising at Magpas, says, “We’re thrilled that Gibbs Denley have chosen Magpas as their charity of the year, the support they have already given is fantastic. Corporations like Gibbs Denley are crucial in helping Magpas continue to provide its lifesaving service- we can’t thank them enough.”

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Handelsbanken Cambridge shown crucial difference they help us to make

Handelsbanken Cambridge shown crucial difference they help us to make

Handelsbanken Cambridge shown crucial difference they help us to make

For the past four years, Handelsbanken Cambridge have consistently supported Magpas Helimedix at their annual corporate bowling evenings. Over 160 people from Cambridgeshire based accountancy firms, solicitors and finance houses gather each year for the bowling event; for a really enjoyable night out, whilst supporting charitable organisations close to their hearts.

Team Handelsbanken have also introduced us to other high profile organisations, who have subsequently gone on to choose Magpas as their charity as well. Having raised almost £7,000 for Magpas over the years, it was an absolute pleasure to invite the Handelsbanken office to the Magpas Helimedix Operations Base this week. These loyal supporters were given a rare insight into what goes on behind the scenes at our vital lifesaving charity. Their tour guides were none other than the specialist Magpas doctor, paramedic, chief pilot and helicopter crew member who were all on shift. Handelsbanken were also given a detailed explanation of the equipment that each Helimedix team takes with them, when they are called out to someone in a life threatening emergency by air or by land, in the East of England and beyond.

When asked what they thought of the visit, the Handelsbanken staff replied, "There is so much more to the Magpas service than first appears. What really strikes a chord is the professionalism, team ethic and commitment the people who work for this charity have".

They went on to collectively say, "None of us know when we might need help from Magpas Helimedix, or our loved ones for that matter. This is such a valuable resource; we can't imagine what we'd do without it. If we don't support it, we could lose something that we may urgently need at any time".

When asked what stands out the most from their experience at Magpas Helimedix, the answer was, "The training is paramount to making Magpas what it is. Yes it's exciting to see the helicopter and the Rapid Response cars sponsored by Elms Cambridge; but it's the people that make all the difference".

Magpas would like to thank all the team at Handelsbanken Cambridge for all their incredible support and for continuing to spread the Magpas lifesaving word.

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Proud to share a lifesaving partnership

Proud to share a lifesaving partnership

Fire Fighters from Huntingdon Fire Station join Magpas Helimedix at The Helimedix Operations Base in Huntingdon

When 999 is dialled and someone is critically ill or injured and trapped inside a car, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service play an integral role in making sure these patients are removed safely from their vehicles. Whilst working alongside Fire and Rescue Crews and the Ambulance Service, Magpas Helimedix deliver A&E level care to people in life changing situations, by land or by air, at the roadside.

To help champion this highly valued team work, every fire engine owned by Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service now features a Proud to Support Magpas Helimedix sticker. Recently, seven members from Huntingdon Fire Station visited the Magpas Helimedix Operations Base with two of their fire trucks, to mark the occasion.

Chief Fire Officer Graham Stagg said: "We're excited to be involved in this partnership and publicly show our support for such a worthwhile charity that provides a vital service in Cambridgeshire". Graham went on to say, "Our fire crews frequently attend incidents where a casualty's life is at stake and it's through our solid working partnership with Magpas Helimedix that we bring our skills together to do the best we can at every emergency".

Magpas Chief Executive Daryl Brown responded by saying, "We are immensely grateful to Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service for their fantastic support. This idea will without doubt help to spread a powerful message about how we work together at the scene of serious medical emergencies".

Daryl continued, "Many of the UK's highly trained medics volunteer their own time to work as a member of the Magpas Helimedix team, to provide frontline medical care - free of charge in the East of England and beyond. Crucially the Magpas Helimedix flights carry specialist trauma Doctors and Paramedics who can start treatment straight away, thus saving more lives and reducing the effect of head and other severe injuries. Our prime goal is not only to save lives, but for our patients to recover more quickly, spend less time in hospital and return to a decent quality of life with their loved ones. The charity receives no Government or National Lottery funding and relies wholly on generous donations from the public. This essential organisation hugely appreciates everyone's support!"

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Oakington couple switch on spectacular Christmas lights for 26th year!

Oakington couple switch on spectacular Christmas lights for 26th year!

Thanks to one dedicated Cambridgeshire couple, thousands of Christmas lights are once again twinkling in Oakington this Christmas season. Alan and Megan Milton have raised an incredible £25,900 for Magpas over the last 25 years - and yet again, they have decked the inside and outside of their house in Coles Lane, with almost endless festive lights and decorations.

The official switch on took place at the beginning of December and ever since, visitors have been able to enjoy big Christmas trees and reindeers sparkling in the night sky, alongside tens of thousands of LED lights in the trees and around the house. Each time a donation is made, between 3.40pm and 10pm, the display lights up.

This will carry on until New Year's Day, with all funds raised going to Magpas Helimedix. Mr Milton, who's 80 years old, works all year round to maintain his collection of festive lights and says it takes six weeks to put the festive show together. The display gives the community a lot of pleasure and never fails to attract visitors on a daily basis.

He says, "People who used to come here as children have now grown up and bring their own children to see the lights". He goes on to say, "There's lots of interest in the lead up to the first big switch on, with lots of kids wanting to see what's been added to the display. A lot of old folks like them as well".

Mr Milton explains, "We never close our curtains. Then we can see all the different faces light up when the display is switched on. People come from far and wide to look at them, not just from Oakington." He finishes by saying, "I don't know how long I will be able to carry on doing this, but I will try for as long as I can. It keeps me occupied, gives a lot of people a great deal of pleasure and raises money for a wonderful, lifesaving cause."

Deborah Florence, Magpas Fundraising Manager, explains: "Mr and Mrs Milton have been supporting Magpas for many years now and we really can't thank them enough. They do an amazing job every year and the lights and decorations outside and inside their house just get better and better".

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Life begins at Wisbech bingo night!

Life begins at Wisbech bingo night!

Ruth Freeman and friends, raised over £1,000 in one night alone, whilst holding a lifesaving game of bingo in Wisbech recently!

Members of the local community flocked to Emneth Central Hall on the evening of 12th June for a serious eyes down, look in. Together with the combination of a tombola, a draw and refeshments, the evening was a real success!

So why support Magpas? Not so long ago, Ruth's husband Peter went into cardiac arrest in the couple's family home. Ruth dialled 999 and performed CPR until a First Reponder arrived. An EEAST Ambuance Crew got the house soon after and performed life support, before Magpas Helimedix then provided advanced life support. The Helimedix then monitored Peter's condition all the way to hospital, whilst working alongside the Ambulance Crew.

Peter is now back at home and almost fully recovered. He's given up smoking and is feeling fit and well. Ruth looks back to that day and says, "Without Magpas, it could literally have been a matter of life or death - Magpas and all the Emergency Services do one hell of a job!"

The Magpas team would like to say a big thank you to Ruth for everything she and her fellow fundraisers have done for us. We look forward to welcoming Ruth and Peter to the Magpas Helimedix Operaions Base very soon!

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Peterborough car & motorbike collision - Magpas Helimedix attend

Peterborough car & motorbike collision - Magpas Helimedix attend

Peterborough car & motorbike collision - Magpas Helimedix attend


At 6:03pm in the evening (27th), Magpas Helimedix (Doctor Wayne Kark and Paramedic Dan Read) arrived in central Peterborough, via the Magpas Rapid Response BMW - after a road traffic incident between a motorbike and a car. A man (in his 50’s) suffered serious leg injuries.

The Magpas team assessed the patient and administered pain relief, before sedating him and splinting his leg; whilst working alongside an EEAST Ambulance Crew, Officer and Rapid Response Paramedic. The Helimedix then accompanied the man, in a Land Ambulance, to Peterborough City Hospital. On arrival at the hospital the patient was in a stable condition. His wife was at his bedside.

All the Emergency Services worked extremely well together - there was excellent team work as ever.

This is all the information we have at present.

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