Dr. Ami Jones posing with Don Balkwill

A Flying visit to Wales Air Ambulance

They do say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, and that’s how I came to meet Dr. Ami Jones of The Wales Air Ambulance.

Dr. Jones is not only a Consultant working in the Critical Care Unit (CCU) in Nevill Hall Hospital here in Abergavenny but is also a “Flying Doctor” with the Wales Air Ambulance. When I was writing “Who killed the King” (WKTK), a musical murder mystery performed in the Borough Theatre last September to help to raise funds for Nevill Hall Intensive and Critical Care Unit, (ITU) it never occurred to me that within a year I would have a book being published and I would be meeting the personnel from the Air Ambulance Service.  As a result, of the show WKTK I met Sally Copner, the Senior Nurse Manager, from the CCU in early December to present a cheque from the proceeds of the show. I happened to mention to Sally that my next project was promoting the pre-publication sales of my book to raise some funds for the WAA service. Much to my surprise, Sally said that one on the consultants in the unit spent one day a week as a “Flying Doctor” with the WAA and that when I was ready she would be happy to put me in touch. So it happened, I contacted Sally a couple of weeks ago, she put me in touch with Dr. Ami Jones who immediately volunteered, provided the WAA charity were happy, to help in any way she could. So I set off on Thursday morning 14th January 2016 to visit the Wales Air Ambulance base in Swansea Airport and meet up with Ami. When I left I was aware of the good work that the Wales Air Ambulance did in providing emergency care for those who face life-threatening illness or injuries, but when I came back I was totally convinced that we had chosen the right charity to support with donations from the launch of the book. Of course, the day didn’t go totally smoothly. I arrived at the airport about 10.15 am to meet up with Rhian, the volunteer helper, who was to be my chaperone. (The base is a secure unit where you can’t have people wandering around willy-nilly). My arrival also coincided with the Air Ambulance helicopter taking off because they had been called out on an emergency. As with all emergencies, nobody can be sure how long it will take to deal with it so we hung around for half an hour until it was established that the services of the medics on board were needed and that the helicopter would be away for quite a few hours. It seems that sometimes the helicopter takes off and is then recalled because the emergency has been dealt with by another source. Rhian and I arranged to meet up again at Airport at 1.00 pm. At about 12.45 I had a call from Rhian to say that the helicopter was still not back and the dispatcher was not sure when it would be, but if I wished I could still go to the base to meet some crew and see the other Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs) they had there. To be honest, I was a little reluctant because I had to be back in Abergavenny by 2.45 for an appointment, would you believe, with a consultant at Nevill Hall for my back problem. However, I decided to go to the base as I was very close by. I’m so glad I did because I got to meet Jason and Tom, Critical Care Practitioners who showed me and told me all about their RVVs I had never thought about it before but what happens if the helicopter breaks down or the weather is so bad that it cannot fly? Now I know, they use their RVVs to drive as fast as they can to the emergency carrying the Doctors and all the life-saving equipment that you would find on the Air Ambulance. Things like red blood cells, lyoplas, and fibrinogen concentrate. These help to stop bleeding and replenish lost blood after a serious accident and ultrasound scanners, which help identify internal trauma to organs at an earlier stage. The vehicles themselves are state of the art which can even carry patients on a stretcher. However, time was ticking on I was about to tender my apologies and leave for my appointment when there was the sound of rotor blades whirring and in the distance we could see the Air Ambulance returning to base. It was a bit like the moment when the cavalry comes over the hill in those old Western movies. The helicopter landed and the crew,

As a result, of the show WKTK I met Sally Copner, the Senior Nurse Manager, from the CCU in early December to present a cheque from the proceeds of the show. I happened to mention to Sally that my next project was promoting the pre-publication sales of my book to raise some funds for the Wales Air Ambulance service. Much to my surprise, Sally said that one on the consultants in the unit spent one day a week as a “Flying Doctor” with the WAA and that when I was ready she would be happy to put me in touch. So it happened, I contacted Sally a couple of weeks ago, she put me in touch with Dr. Ami Jones who immediately volunteered, provided the Wales Air Ambulance charity were happy, to help in any way she could. So I set off on Thursday morning 14th January 2016 to visit the Wales Air Ambulance base in Swansea Airport and meet up with Ami. When I left I was aware of the good work that the Wales Air Ambulance did in providing emergency care for those who face life-threatening illness or injuries, but when I came back I was totally convinced that we had chosen the right charity to support with donations from the launch of the book. Of course, the day didn’t go totally smoothly. I arrived at the airport about 10.15 am to meet up with Rhian, the volunteer helper, who was to be my chaperone. (The base is a secure unit where you can’t have people wandering around willy-nilly). My arrival also coincided with the Air Ambulance helicopter taking off because they had been called out on an emergency. As with all emergencies, nobody can be sure how long it will take to deal with it so we hung around for half an hour until it was established that the services of the medics on board were needed and that the helicopter would be away for quite a few hours. It seems that sometimes the helicopter takes off and is then recalled because the emergency has been dealt with by another source. Rhian and I arranged to meet up again at Airport at 1.00 pm. At about 12.45 I had a call from Rhian to say that the helicopter was still not back and the dispatcher was not sure when it would be, but if I wished I could still go to the base to meet some crew and see the other Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs) they had there. To be honest, I was a little reluctant because I had to be back in Abergavenny by 2.45 for an appointment, would you believe, with a consultant at Nevill Hall for my back problem. However, I decided to go to the base as I was very close by. I’m so glad I did because I got to meet Jason and Tom, Critical Care Practitioners who showed me and told me all about their RVVs I had never thought about it before but what happens if the helicopter breaks down or the weather is so bad that it cannot fly? Now I know, they use their RVVs to drive as fast as they can to the emergency carrying the Doctors and all the life-saving equipment that you would find on the Air Ambulance. Things like red blood cells, lyoplas, and fibrinogen concentrate. These help to stop bleeding and replenish lost blood after a serious accident and ultrasound scanners, which help identify internal trauma to organs at an earlier stage. The vehicles themselves are state of the art which can even carry patients on a stretcher. However, time was ticking on I was about to tender my apologies and leave for my appointment when there was the sound of rotor blades whirring and in the distance we could see the Air Ambulance returning to base. It was a bit like the moment when the cavalry comes over the hill in those old Western movies. The helicopter landed and the crew, includi

When I was writing “Who killed the King” (WKTK), a musical murder mystery performed in the Borough Theatre last September to help to raise funds for Nevill Hall Intensive and Critical Care Unit, (ITU) it never occurred to me that within a year I would have a book being published and I would be meeting the personnel from the Air Ambulance Service.  As a result, of the show WKTK I met Sally Copner, the Senior Nurse Manager, from the CCU in early December to present a cheque from the proceeds of the show. I happened to mention to Sally that my next project was promoting the pre-publication sales of my book to raise some funds for the WAA service. Much to my surprise, Sally said that one on the consultants in the unit spent one day a week as a “Flying Doctor” with the WAA and that when I was ready she would be happy to put me in touch. So it happened, I contacted Sally a couple of weeks ago, she put me in touch with Dr. Ami Jones who immediately volunteered, provided the WAA charity were happy, to help in any way she could. So I set off on Thursday morning 14th January 2016 to visit the Wales Air Ambulance base in Swansea Airport and meet up with Ami. When I left I was aware of the good work that the Wales Air Ambulance did in providing emergency care for those who face life-threatening illness or injuries, but when I came back I was totally convinced that we had chosen the right charity to support with donations from the launch of the book. Of course, the day didn’t go totally smoothly. I arrived at the airport about 10.15 am to meet up with Rhian, the volunteer helper, who was to be my chaperone. (The base is a secure unit where you can’t have people wandering around willy-nilly). My arrival also coincided with the Air Ambulance helicopter taking off because they had been called out on an emergency. As with all emergencies, nobody can be sure how long it will take to deal with it so we hung around for half an hour until it was established that the services of the medics on board were needed and that the helicopter would be away for quite a few hours. It seems that sometimes the helicopter takes off and is then recalled because the emergency has been dealt with by another source. Rhian and I arranged to meet up again at Airport at 1.00 pm. At about 12.45 I had a call from Rhian to say that the helicopter was still not back and the dispatcher was not sure when it would be, but if I wished I could still go to the base to meet some crew and see the other Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs) they had there. To be honest, I was a little reluctant because I had to be back in Abergavenny by 2.45 for an appointment, would you believe, with a consultant at Nevill Hall for my back problem. However, I decided to go to the base as I was very close by. I’m so glad I did because I got to meet Jason and Tom, Critical Care Practitioners who showed me and told me all about their RVVs I had never thought about it before but what happens if the helicopter breaks down or the weather is so bad that it cannot fly? Now I know, they use their RVVs to drive as fast as they can to the emergency carrying the Doctors and all the life-saving equipment that you would find on the Air Ambulance. Things like red blood cells, lyoplas, and fibrinogen concentrate. These help to stop bleeding and replenish lost blood after a serious accident and ultrasound scanners, which help identify internal trauma to organs at an earlier stage. The vehicles themselves are state of the art which can even carry patients on a stretcher. However, time was ticking on I was about to tender my apologies and leave for my appointment when there was the sound of rotor blades whirring and in the distance we could see the Air Ambulance returning to base. It was a bit like the moment when the cavalry comes over the hill in those old Western movies. The helicopter landed and the crew, including Dr Jones, disembarked. It took only a few moments to set up the photographs you see here and then I was on my way, getting to my appointment, even with all the difficulties of parking in Nevill Hall car park, only two minutes late. I still had a fifteen-minute wait mind you.

In the photograph is Dr Ami Jones holding the flyer (no pun intended) which advertising “101 Forgotten Gadgets” before it was published. Thank you to Dr. Jones, Tom, Jason, Rhian, Sally for your warm welcome and for your support. To find out more about the wonderful work that the Wales Air Ambulance perform click on the image below HERE.

Wales air Ambulance coming in at Swansea base

Wales Air Ambulance landing

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