Peterborough man who crashed at Boongate roundabout after cardiac arrest thanks lifesavers from Magpas as charity unveils new helicopter

Crashing into the centre of the Boongate roundabout after suffering a cardiac arrest at the wheel, Geoff Sayers would not be here today if he had not received lifesaving care at the scene.

Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 10:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 10:48 pm
The Upwood Ukeleles

Geoff (74) from Peterborough said: “Because my car’s an automatic, it was in gear and still moving forward while I was unconscious. I still have no memory of what happened but witnesses said that I was narrowly missed by an oncoming lorry and my car only stopped when it hit bushes in the middle of the roundabout.”

Six people stopped to help Geoff. They got him out of the car and started performing CPR as soon as possible until the emergency services, including Magpas Air Ambulance, arrived.

The Magpas medical team provided Geoff with lifesaving care then and there and flew him to hospital.

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The Upwood Ukeleles

Geoff continued: “I was in hospital for less than a week, a recovery time which amazed even the doctors. Once I was home I managed to get in touch with the people who stopped that day and the Magpas medical team who flew me to hospital. I just wanted to say thank you for saving my life."

Geoff has now come face to face with those who saved his life as Magpas celebrates unveiling its new state of the art helicopter, which has been bought after a £1.5 million fundraising campaign.

The new AgustaWestland 169 will be able to fly further and faster, enabling the lifesaving service to reach and treat an even greater number of patients.

Geoff added: “It was very emotional to come face to face with everyone, including Dr Simon Lewis, one of the Magpas Air Ambulance doctors who treated me. Simon helped me understand what happened, talking through the care I received that day and how it helped me make the recovery I did.”

Dr Vijayasankar with the new air ambulance

Magpas's new helicopter will cost the charity an extra £50,000 a month. To reach that total it will need the help of people like Doug McLeod, who has been an avid fundraiser for more than five years now.

When he, his wife and their friends put together the Upwood Ukuleles with the vision of playing local gigs and raising some money for Magpas, they had no idea how much the new venture would take off. They now perform several times a week, to a wide range of people across Peterborough, Wisbech, Cambridge and beyond, and have raised more than £30,000.

Doug said: “We had no expectations about raising this amount of money for Magpas but we continue to be bowled over by people’s generosity in donating to this cause.

“As a band we have gone further, faster and greater than we could ever have imagined. We never considered it possible to raise so much money in such a short time, just by playing the humble ukulele! But if we can do it, you can do it.

Geoff and his partner Marian

“Magpas’ new helicopter will cost the charity an extra £50,000 a month, so we are now setting our sites on raising over £50,000 for Magpas. What could you do to help?”

Magpas Air Ambulance's Dr Vijayasankar has been working with the charity for more than a decade, as well as being an emergency medicine consultant at Peterborough City Hospital, where he was worked for 11 years.

He said: “It’s very exciting that, thanks to community support, the new Magpas air ambulance is here.

"Our care is needed now more than ever - we were called to 811 serious medical emergencies in this area alone last year.

The new Magpas helicopter

"This new aircraft will help us continue to bring lifesaving, hospital level care to patients across Peterborough, Cambridgeshire and beyond. We want to thank everyone for their generosity and commitment to help us bring the next Magpas air ambulance to the region, but ask that you continue to support us and help keep your local air ambulance flying. Please visit today to find out more or donate. Thank you.”