‘They saved our lives - so now we want to help them’

High fliers...Louise Kenyon manager, Alfi Freeman 6, Roger Freeman, Helen Freeman and Richard Clutterbuck volunteer help celebrate 25,000 missions outside the Air Ambulance charity shop in Market Harborough.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
High fliers...Louise Kenyon manager, Alfi Freeman 6, Roger Freeman, Helen Freeman and Richard Clutterbuck volunteer help celebrate 25,000 missions outside the Air Ambulance charity shop in Market Harborough. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
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Two men from Market Harborough whose lives were saved by their local air ambulance joined in the celebrations to mark the service’s 25,000 th mission.

Roger Freeman and Richard Clutterbuck were rescued by Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA) following separate horrific accidents on local roads.

Last week, the charity which runs DLRAA and its sister aircraft covering Warwickshire and Northamptonshire reached its landmark number of missions.

To mark the occasion, Roger and Richard visited the air ambulance shop in Market Harborough to said a big thank to the charity for its lifesaving work.

And they urged local people to continue supporting the charity, which receives no government or NHS funding, as it looks forward to the next 25,000 missions.

Roger (39), of Arden Way, Market Harborough, was knocked off his motorbike in 2015 by a car performing a ‘u’ turn in Great Oxendon.

He suffered 14 broken ribs, three broken vertebrae, a broken wrist, a ruptured left knee and several other injuries.

He was flown by air ambulance to the major trauma centre at University Hospitals, Coventry.

Following his accident, transport supervisor Roger had several subsequent operations, but has recovered well, and earlier this year took part in the Silverstone Half Marathon to raise funds for the charity.

Smallholder Richard Clutterbuck (63), from Great Bowden, near Market Harborough, was out horse riding with his wife Gill when they were hit by a car six years ago.

Knocked into a field, he broke his back in several places. He was flown by air ambulance to Coventry and underwent specialist surgery to effectively cement scaffolding between his broken vertebrae. At the time of the accident, Richard was only the eighth person in the country to have the pioneering operation.

His wife was also injured in the accident and was taken by land ambulance to Kettering.

Anyone interested in helping support the air ambulance, whether by giving up some free time,helping fundraise, or donating, please contact enquiries@theairambulanceservice.org.uk or call 08454 130999.