15-year-old Henry Carpenter, from Clifton-on-Teme in Worcestershire wanted to give back to the lifesaving service, Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, which airlifted him to Birmingham Children’s Hospital following a horrific farming incident.
On Thursday 2nd April 2020, three weeks into the first national lockdown, Henry, who was 14 at the time, spent time working on his family’s farm when a freak accident left him in vital need of advanced pre-hospital emergency care.
Henry was taking a tractor out to fetch sheep in during lambing season. After climbing down from the tractor to close a gate behind him, Henry had knocked the gearstick. This resulted in him being knocked and run over by the tractor. A hydraulics box on the back of the tractor used for transporting ewes and lambs scraped up against Henry’s back.
The tractor continued to roam the field whilst Henry was left lying injured until he was found, and emergency help was called.
The Midlands Air Ambulance was despatched from the RAF Cosford base, in Shropshire. After arriving on scene, the crew on-board started treating Henry for his injuries which included a fractured pelvis and dislocated hip. Henry had also torn blood vessels in his hip as he had attempted to free himself.
Critical care paramedic for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, Karen Baker, who tended to Henry on scene, said: “We found Henry in a poorly condition. He was stable, but in terrible pain with the suspicion of a fractured pelvis. This would be difficult for an adult to cope with, but for a child it’s even more distressing. However, he showed such bravery and we knew there was something special about him.”
The aircrew applied a pelvic binder to support Henry’s pelvis and administered an analgesic and bleed control drugs – medicines which can only be administered by the advanced crew on-board Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.
After a week in hospital, due to the changing landscape of healthcare provision following the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent enforcement of lockdown measures, Henry was discharged home to continue his recovery.
Despite relying on the aid of crutches, Henry took on the charity’s Air30 Airbase fundraising challenge and walked a massive 54 miles within 30 days. He built the miles up gradually with his first walk being just under a mile and his last being six miles long. Henry’s determination and dedication to fund future lifesaving missions to help others in need has been his motivation to keep going.
Henry said: “I knew I could use this challenge as a way to raise much needed funds for the amazing crew at Midlands Air Ambulance Charity that helped save my life.
“It’s difficult to put into words how amazing the crew and charity are.”
With his latest challenge Henry has inspired so many people around him, including the team at Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.
Karen continued: “Henry’s commitment to his challenge, no matter how hard, has given everyone a real heart-warming boost at the charity after what has been an extremely difficult year.”
Henry has now completed his challenge and fundraised more than £10,000 in donations for the charity. This amount will help fund 14 lifesaving missions – three via air ambulance and 11 in the charity’s critical care cars.