Jane’s StorySeptember 27, 2023
As our founding CEO, and now Patron of Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC), John Christensen has given a lot to the charity since its formation in 2007. But he’s not stopping there – prompted by his passion for the cause, and his first-hand experience of the difference GWAAC makes for local people, he has also chosen to give a gift in his will.
“When I started GWAAC, I’m not sure I really understood just how vital the service would end up being. I knew it was important, of course, but I couldn’t have predicted the difference it would make for individual people.
There were many times when I sat at my desk, tears running down my cheeks, reading a letter from a patient or their family, thanking the crew for their help and care. It was one thing to look at the numbers – missions taken, patients treated – but those personal stories really brought home how significant the charity was for local people.
When I retired as CEO, I decided to include GWAAC in my will. The charity is very close to my heart – it was the most natural decision in the world, and it was a very easy thing to do. I suppose the truth is that I can’t possibly imagine a future where GWAAC isn’t there, and I know that including the charity in my will is one way of helping it continue serving the community for years to come.
I’m still involved with the charity, and I find the evolution it’s been through over fifteen years astonishing. The skills the Critical Care Team bring will never cease to amaze me, and I continue to be heartened by the stories I hear from people whose lives have been directly touched by the charity.
One thing I learned early on is that pre-hospital emergency medicine is always developing, with more advanced skills and equipment, and a constant need for training and investment. This will always be the case. And after being at GWAAC since Day One, I’m comforted and proud to know that the gift I’m leaving in my will means I’ll still be doing my bit to help, even after I’m gone. “