Double win for GWAAC at the National Association of Air Ambulance Awards 2018 - Great Western Air Ambulance Charity
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Double win for GWAAC at the National Association of Air Ambulance Awards 2018

Double win for GWAAC at the National Association of Air Ambulance Awards 2018

We are over the moon to announce that we won two awards at the National Association of Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence that took place on the 12th November.  The event is an evening dedicated to recognising the outstanding individuals and teams from the air ambulance community.

This year proved an exciting one for us as we won not one but two awards. We were thrilled that Ali Layard one of our former patients won Outstanding Young Person of the Year & our Critical Care Doctor Paddy Morgan won Doctor of the Year.

The Outstanding Young Person of the Year Award celebrates a young person who has accomplished something fantastic for their air ambulance charity. Our former patient Ali Layard won this award for his tremendous achievements since his accident 6 years ago.

Ali was only 9 years old when he was accidently knocked of a narrow boat and dragged into the propeller, sustaining terrible injuries to both his legs. Ali not only lost his kneecap, but also lost all of his left knee bending mechanism, 60% of his lower right leg and had to undergo numerous lengthy operations.

Ali squared up to his challenges and complications with determination and incredible bravery. Five months after being told he would never run again, he crossed the line at his school sports day. 6 years later, and Ali has achieved a sports scholarship for Wellington School and he has started playing for the England Physical Disability Cricket Lions Team. Ali became the youngest ever player to appear for the England Physical Disability side, and has even recently completed the Bristol 10K alongside his father and Specialist Paramedic in Critical Care Pete, who attended to his incident on the day. Ali has defied all odds by battling many challenges and raising a huge amount of awareness and money for the charity that saved his life.

Sophie Layard, Ali’s mum said: ‘’We have our son today thanks to the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity; but to watch Ali accept this award to a standing ovation from many of the bravest people in our country today was quite simply, the most humbling experience of my life.’’

We are also extremely honoured that our Critical Care Doctor Paddy Morgan won Doctor of the Year. Paddy was nominated by his team for his leadership and clinical skills in a highly challenging incident. Paddy won this prestigious award for his involvement in an emergency operation which brought together teams from GWAAC, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) and Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) paramedics, to save the life of a young man whose heart had stopped beating, was not breathing, and had extreme hypothermia.

GWAAC CEO, Anna Perry, said: ‘’The whole GWAAC team is so proud of Dr Paddy Morgan. He’s an integral part of our team and the people in our region are lucky to have someone of his calibre working in the Critical Care Team. I am so pleased that Ali’s achievements have been recognised with this national award. He is a truly inspirational young man and I am sure he will go on to achieve even more.’’