Former air ambulance patients among Bath Half Marathon runners

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Some of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance runners before the start of the Bath Half Marathon with the charity’s mascot Wilber


MORE than 50 people raised funds for Wiltshire Air Ambulance by taking part in the Bath Half Marathon yesterday.

Runners included former patients airlifted by the air ambulance plus supporters.

The funds raised will be used for the charity’s day-to-day operations.

This was the first half marathon for Stuart Hershbein, of Maiden Bradley, and deputy leader of PE at Melksham Oak School.

Stuart, 37, was airlifted by Wiltshire Air Ambulance on September 6, 2012, after suffering a life-threatening episode of fluid on the brain which required emergency surgery. He was at last year’s Bath Half Marathon volunteering at the charity’s stand.

He said: “The half marathon was tough but the support and fellow runners kept me going. The atmosphere was absolutely superb.

“Four and a half years ago I couldn’t walk unaided and I was paralysed down my left side. When I crossed the finishing line I burst into tears, it was very emotional.”

Sue Jones, of Chapmanslade, ran the Bath Half in memory of her husband, Philip Butler, and daughter, Jennifer Jones, who both died in a road traffic collision on the A36 near Warminster in July 2015. Wiltshire Air Ambulance attended the incident.

Sue said: “I’m so thrilled to have run the Bath Half and I really enjoyed it. I did it to raise awareness of the fantastic work that Wiltshire Air Ambulance does and to raise as much money as I can in Phil and Jenny’s memory.”

Another runner was Shaun Fleming, who was airlifted by Wiltshire Air Ambulance after falling from a ladder at his home in Wroughton on September 28, 2014. His injuries included a fractured hip socket.

Shaun, a painter and decorator, ran the Bath Half last year and used this year’s event as a warm-up for the London Marathon next month, which he is also running for Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

Shaun, 58, said: “It was terrific and I’m so pleased to raise money for Wiltshire Air Ambulance which is an essential service in our county.”

Dylan Jones, 23, of Fairford, Gloucestershire, was joined by family members and friends to run his fourth Bath Half Marathon for Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

Dylan was airlifted by the air ambulance in 2012 after he suffered catastrophic injuries in a road traffic collision.

Dylan said: “Wiltshire Air Ambulance saved my life and I’m keen to raise money for the charity.”

Corporate supporters included staff from Devizes-based Resolution Design and owner Richard Jaggs said: “The Bath Half is a great event and Wiltshire Air Ambulance is a great cause. I’ve never had to use it but it’s a really valuable service.”

Air mmbulance paramedic Fred Thompson and charity team member Valerie Whistler also completed the Bath Half, running it for the first time.

The Wiltshire Air Ambulance runners were supported and cheered on by staff and volunteers from the charity, plus Wilber the mascot.

Kenresa Stratford, fundraising and events co-ordinator, said: “Our runners are an inspiration to us and we thank them for their amazing efforts.

“The dedication and commitment they have put in is truly outstanding and the money they have raised will help our helicopter and crew to keep flying and saving lives for anyone living, working and travelling in Wiltshire and surrounding counties.”

Wiltshire Air Ambulance has launched a capital appeal for its new airbase at Outmarsh Farm, Semington, near Melksham. The new airbase will be custom-built for its helicopter, aircrew and charity team. For more information about how you can help visit www.wiltshireairbaseappeal.co.uk


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