Down Man To Walk For Air Ambulance

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Local man, Damian Carlin is first to register for the Mourne Way Marathon Challenge Walk in support of Air Ambulance NI.

Air Ambulance NI patient and supporter, Damian Carlin from Downpatrick successfully completed a 3 Peaks challenge in September 2019 raising a phenomenal £1,000 for the charity. Fuelled on by this incredible feat, Damian has now set his sights on completing the Mourne Way Marathon Challenge Walk on Saturday 13th June in the hopes of completing the 26 miles and raising more vital funds for the charity.

Damian Carlin has signed up for the Mourne Way Marathon Challenge.

On the 8th August 2017, Damian was at work when a concrete slab fell on his ankle. The Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) which is provided by Air Ambulance NI and their partners at the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, were the first emergency medical responders onto the scene. The incident occurred just three weeks after the HEMS commenced. Since the service began in July 2017 until December 2019 the HEMS has been tasked to the Newry, Mourne and Down area 134 times. 

HEMS Dr Russell McLaughlin and HEMS paramedic Mike Patton were able to administer pain relief to Damian and realign his ankle on scene. They then took Damian to Craigavon Hospital for surgery, Damian was off work for 13 weeks before he was able to return to his profession as a stone mason. Luckily, he has regained most of the mobility and usage of his ankle.

Damian commented that he is very grateful that the air ambulance was first on the scene.  He remembers the incident and remained conscious throughout. He noted that when the slabs fell on him, he was in shock and one of his work colleagues Thomas used his instinct to remove the slabs from the ankle and leg.  His ankle was in a very unnatural position due to the break and was starting to lose colour.  The pain started to kick in, but it wasn’t long before the air ambulance arrived.  Damian attributes their quick arrival to helping him to remain calm and manage his pain.  Damian remembers the medical team telling him that they had straightened his leg but due to the pain relief they had given him, he did not feel any discomfort.

You can join Damian on this unique walking venture to support Air Ambulance NI. By getting sponsored for your efforts, you will be playing your part to ensure that critical pre-hospital care can be brought directly to trauma causalities across Northern Ireland, just like Damian.

The Mourne Way Marathon Challenge Walk is organised by 26 Extreme and set within the Mourne Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Participants can expect to travel across almost every type of terrain imaginable on their 26-mile-long journey from Newcastle to Rostrevor. The fully waymarked route boasts stunning views of coast, sea and countryside while not crossing the tops of any mountains.

Air Ambulance NI is a local charity that provides the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service for Northern Ireland, together with its partners at the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service. The service brings urgent medical assistance to anywhere in the province, operating seven days a week for 12 hours per day. It can get to anywhere in Northern Ireland in approximately twenty-five minutes.  This Helicopter Emergency Medical Service benefits those whose lives are at serious risk following significant injury or trauma.

Air Ambulance NI needs to raise £2million each year to maintain this service, so public support and events like this one, are crucial.

Registration for the Mourne Way Marathon Challenge Walk can be done through the Air Ambulance NI website at www.airambulanceni.org/upcomingevents or by calling the charity on 028 9262 2677.  Each participant is asked to raise a minimum of £55 to help keep the team flying to trauma patients.  

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