Air Ambulance Flights
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IAS Medical in the "Jarrow Gazette"
A SOUTH Tyneside oil rig worker left paralysed after a swimming pool accident in Spain was being flown home to the UK today by European Air Ambulance Firm IAS Medical.
Brian Wilson, 34 — pictured — saw his sunshine holiday turn into a nightmare when he struck his head after diving into a pool at the Playa Hotel in the sunshine resort of Malaga just over two weeks ago.
Dad Bob, 59, jetted out to the island and has kept a vigil at the hospital bedside of his stricken son ever since.
Last week the family were told they would need to raise £14,000 to cover the cost of transporting Mr Wilson home, after it emerged he was not insured while on holiday.
A fundraising appeal was launched, but his quick return has only been made possible after a family member re-mortgaged their home to cover the cost of the transport.
Still in an induced coma, Mr Wilson was being accompanied by a full medical team from IAS Medical, the European air ambulance repatriation service, on the journey back to England.
An ambulance will be waiting on the runway when the aircraft lands from Palma at Durham Tees Valley Airport before being taken to the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough.
Mr Wilson, of Biddick Hall, South Shields, will undergo a tracheotomy, an incision to his neck which will enable him to breath without the aid of a ventilator. Experts in the hospital's world-respected spinal unit will then begin to assess the extent of his injuries.
Today Brian's mother, Heather Wilson, 50, of Masefield Drive, Biddick Hall, South Shields, expressed her relief at her son's imminent return.
She said: "I just can't wait to have him back but he's still in a critical condition and they're desperate to have the operation to allow him to breath for himself.
"There are other procedures that need to be done soon to prevent him getting any infections, which would put him back three or four weeks.
"A family member agreed to remortage their home to pay for the flight. It was a wonderful gesture, without it Brian would have stayed in Spain.
"My husband Bob has been with him but he couldn't have stayed out there indefinitely.
"We need to pay him back as soon as possible so we will be keeping the fundraising efforts up.
"So many people have asked about Brian and want to go and see him when he's well enough."
A fundraising night is to be staged this Saturday at the Simonside Club in South Shields.
To read the full story click here Jarrow and Hebburn Gazette.