Blood to Helimed 10

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Medical Lead, Dr. Phil Hyde said: “The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance (DSAA) Critical Care Team give blood products to approximately 30 severely injured patients per year. The chance of life that these products provide is enabled by the incredible support of Devon Freewheelers. Since the summer of 2016, the Devon Freewheelers have ensured that blood products are regularly and reliably delivered to the DSAA Clinical Team. Their voluntary work is inspiring and life changing and they form an essential link in the chain of survival for the most injured adults and children in the South West.”

Felix's Story

felixIn January 2012, Felix was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at just 3 years old. His treatment has been very aggressive and he needed 8 blood transfusions and 10 platelet transfusions in the first few months alone. These transfusions were lifesaving; a normal platelet count for a child is between 150 and 400 - at one point Felix's count was just 9, leaving him susceptible to life-threatening bleeding. Delays in receiving a transfusion would also mean treatment being further delayed or postponed.

Our local hospital doesn't have a large store of blood and platelet products on site and they usually have to be requested from Bristol. Typically, Felix's transfusions were required at weekends or late at night and were always an urgent request.

We hadn't really given much thought to how the transfusions arrived until a nurse mentioned in passing to Felix that a motorbike was bringing them. He was so impressed to learn this and even more excited when we actually saw a rider bringing the transfusion into hospital! I was astounded when I realised that it was due to the kindness of volunteer riders that he was able to get his transfusion so quickly, enabling him to be well and get back home as soon as possible.

We are so grateful to the Devon Freewheelers for the part they have played in helping our little boy through his treatment.


(Felix’s mum)

Teignmouth Methodist Church

Letter recieved from the Church Treasurer,

Dear Mr May,

Please find enclosed cheque for £210.00 for the Devon Freewheelers, this being the final amount raised this year from the donations made after our Sunday service when we serve coffee adn tea. In total this maked £510.00 that we have raised fo your charity. A cheque for £140.00 was sent in August 2013 and one for £160.00 in January 2014. I am sending the final cheque to you as you were the inspiration behind our decission to name the Freewheelers as our charity for 2013/14, after the concert and talk held at our Church in Febuary 2013. We wish your charity every success through the coming years, and commend you for your volunteering and commitment.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Brenda Naish
Church Treasurer

Withycombe Raleigh WI

Dear Les

Thank you very much for your visit to our meeting last night - we were thoroughly entertained and informed. The presence of your mighty bike also made a big impression! Your presentation has hopefully energised us into giving more support to the work of Devon Freewheelers, a service we were "aware of" but took for granted. It is quite incredible (scandalous?) that this service has to be provided on a voluntary basis, especially in view of the vast sum saved by the NHS as a result.

Our President Elaine will be organising us to hold a coffee morning for Devon Freewheelers in Exmouth towards the end of July, and we will keep you posted. We will do our best to keep Devon Freewheelers in high profile and encourage supporters for your life-saving work.

With best wishes

Ann Lawrence
Secretary, Withycombe Raleigh WI