3rd September 2013 should have been an exciting day for 11-year-old Ben Lovegrove, as he was trialling a horse his family was interested in buying him. Unfortunately, a tragic accident meant he required the rapid response of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.
Ben, who is from Malvern in Worcestershire, was an accomplished horseman despite his young age, but when the horse he was riding in the Cotswolds took off and then swerved a hedge, he fell off and landed hard.
Due to the force of the fall, Ben broke his right arm and femur and had a suspected broken pelvis, which is extremely serious as if the femoral artery is punctured, internal bleeding is life-threatening.
For anyone, these injuries can be agonising, but for a child, it’s that much harder to bear. The remote location of Ben’s incident, and the severity of his injuries meant Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s Strensham-based air ambulance was swiftly deployed and was on scene within minutes.
Bringing with them advanced skills, medicines and equipment, the critical care paramedics on-board gave Ben drugs for pain relief and anaesthesia as his leg had to be realigned on scene before he was flown to hospital with his mother at his side. Ben then spent a week in his hospital bed, while his arm was reset, and his leg was pinned and plated, before he continued his slow recovery at home, via wheelchair and crutches before he could walk again.
Ben has been left with scaring on his right leg from the initial operation to his right leg, and subsequent removal of the metal work which needed taking out to allow Ben’s leg to grow as he got older. It’s something he lets define him and he is proud of as he shows his ultimate strength in his hour of need.
He states: “Seven years on and I still have some physical issues, but my scar is part of me, it’s who I am, and it tells a story. If anyone asks though, I say it’s a shark bite!
“Mentally, it took about three years to become my happy again, I struggled with not being able to play with my friends and do the things other kids my age could. When people can’t see your injuries they think you should be fine, but they can’t see the mental scars that still hurt. That was harder to get over than the physical rehabilitation.
As part of Ben’s rehabilitation, he challenged himself to do a mud run to raise funds for Midlands Ambulance Charity. He and his family and friends raised £2,000 towards helping future lifesaving missions.
Ben continues: “The air ambulance is amazing. My family and I are so grateful for the quick response and treatment I received in that field before being flown, it was really reassuring, and we now feel part of the Midlands Air Ambulance ‘family’.”