Gretton couple thank paramedics who saved their lives

Jess and Keith Wheatley meet Philippa Gibbs, Base Manager and CCP of the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance. EMN-141230-105449001
Jess and Keith Wheatley meet Philippa Gibbs, Base Manager and CCP of the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance. EMN-141230-105449001

A couple from Gretton have had an emotional first meeting with one of the paramedics who helped to save their lives two weeks after the anniversary of their car crash.

Jess and Keith Wheatley who were involved in a crash with a lorry last December, met with one of the critical care paramedics that helped to save both of their lives.

On December 19, the couple met with Philippa Gibbs, base manager and paramedic of the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.

Jess said: “Being able to meet one of the paramedics who saved me and my husband was very emotional.

“I really believe that if it weren’t for The Air Ambulance Service and the speed their helicopters got me and Keith to hospital, we wouldn’t be here to tell this story.”

Jess, 75 and Keith, 77 were both badly injured in the crash on the A6003 near Oakham on December 6, last year.

Keith, who was driving the car, broke his arm, collarbone, several ribs and pelvis.

He also punctured a lung, ruptured his spleen and developed a blood clot on the brain.

Jess broke 12 ribs and her hip.

The accident was extremely serious, resulting in both Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance and Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance being called to the scene.

The couple, who have been raising funds for the air ambulance service since 2007, had no idea that one day the charity they supported would be helping to save their lives.

Since being airlifted to hospital last year, the couple have not had the chance to meet any of the crew who saved their lives, until now.

Philippa Gibbs said: “Meeting a patient who has recovered is always a rewarding experience.

“Jess and Keith’s recovery is testament to the excellent teamwork and skill of all of the emergency services involved.”

Jess and Keith have most recently raised over £60,000 as the faces of their Christmas Wishes Appeal. They are still trying money. To donate visit www.theairambulanceservice.org.uk/christmasappeal.