Pair Who’ve Made Great Progress In Recovery Help Mark Charity’s 30th Anniversary
Two young people seriously injured in crashes have thanked Midlands Air Ambulance crews for helping save their lives as they celebrated the charity’s 30th birthday.
Charlie Fogarty and Aaron Carmichael suffered traumatic brain injuries when they were involved in separate collisions.
The pair from Shirley and Hockley Heath respectively, received life-saving treatment from Midlands Air Ambulance.
Charlie was stabilised by the air crew to enable him to be transferred by land ambulance to Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Aaron was conveyed as a major trauma by the air ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital; the helicopter had departed the scene before the police arrived so serious was his condition.
Serious injury lawyers secure settlement for pair who suffered life-changing brain injuries
Charlie and Aaron, both now aged 25, spent months in hospital. Their families instructed expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell who secured substantial settlements to fund the specialist rehabilitation, support and therapies which have enabled both of them to live as independently as possible.
Charlie and Aaron have now met members of the Midlands Air Ambulance charity to thank them personally for coming to their rescue. The charity is marking its 30th anniversary this year, including a touring exhibition Irwin Mitchell is sponsoring.
Expert Opinion“Charlie and Aaron suffered truly terrible injuries and it’s testament to the expertise of the air ambulance crews involved in their care that they survived.
“Charlie and Aaron have showed tremendous courage to make the best recovery possible. Both continue to astound us with the progress they make and the determination they show to help inspire others who may find themselves in a similar situation.
“Their stories highlight the fantastic work everyone connected to the Midlands Air Ambulance does. It was great for Charlie and Aaron to meet each other again and also meet those who helped save their lives.
“The Midlands Air Ambulance provides a phenomenal service to the wider Midlands region and we are thrilled to be able to support the charity and its fantastic work in its 30th anniversary year.” Hilary Wetherell - Partner
Brain injury: Charlie Fogarty's story
Aspiring footballer Charlie Fogarty was 15-years-old when he was hit by a car overtaking a bus while crossing the road in Birmingham in March 2012. He was in an induced coma for 11 days and spent four months in intensive care and further six months in a specialist brain rehabilitation unit.
Before the crash he had finished a four year stint at Birmingham City FC’s Academy and was on trial with Milton Keynes Dons.
However his injuries left him needing to learn how to talk, walk, dress, and perform basic tasks again.
Now aged 25, he is a motivational speaker. Charlie was awarded the MBE in 2018 for services to young people in Solihull.
Charlie thanks Midlands Air Ambulance for saving his life
He said: “Coming to terms with how my life had changed was difficult for everyone. Before the collision I was fit and active and dreamed of becoming a professional footballer. However, all that changed in an instant.
“Initially there was a lot of anger and tears at what had happened but I became determined to try and overcome my injuries the best I can. It wasn’t easy but the support I’ve had has been absolutely amazing.
“While I still face many challenges I know I’m lucky to be in a position where I can tell my story to hopefully help others. This wouldn’t have been possible without the emergency care I received.
“I’m so grateful to all of those who have helped me over the years. Many people like me will always owe a debt of gratitude to the air ambulance. I can’t thank them enough for what they did for me.”
Charlie has recently moved into his own flat and continues to be supported by Irwin Mitchell’s Court of Protection team and financial management specialist, IM Asset Management.
Serious injury: Aaron Carmichael’s story
Aaron Carmichael was aged 17 when he was knocked off his motorcycle by a van in July 2013. After arriving at hospital via the air ambulance he underwent life-having surgery. Aaron spent three months in hospital before being transferred to a specialist brain rehabilitation centre where he spent more than two years.
When he arrived at the unit, Aaron was unable to speak and communicated by blinking, eye pointing and movement of his left arm. For some time, Aaron was paraplegic; he could not move his legs and right arm and had to be fed via a tube.
After a care package was put in place Aaron started to make progress in his recovery. Now aged 25, he is able to walk for some part of each day and talk with the help of assistive technology . While he requires 24-hour care he has recently moved into his own bungalow, giving him the independence he wanted.
Aaron also continues to be supported by Irwin Mitchell’s Court of Protection team and financial management specialists, IM Asset Management.
Mum's pride at son's determination to make most of life
His mum Debbie, said: “Aaron had his whole life ahead of him. He was 17 and ready to become an adult, ready to take advantage of the independence and freedom it brings. Then suddenly, his whole world fell apart.
“It was a normal summer’s day, eight years ago, when I got the call I’ll never forget. I’d seen Aaron earlier and he was all smiles as he headed out on his bike, now he was fighting for his life in hospital.
“It’s no understatement that Aaron only survived because of the amazing care he received.
“The last few years haven’t been easy and there have been a lot of ups and downs but I’m so proud of the courage Aaron shows every day to make the most of life.
“Getting to meet members of the air ambulance and say thank you was really special for us all.”
Find out more about our expertise in supporting families following road collisions at our dedicated serious injury section. Alternatively to speak to an expert contact us or call 0370 1500 100.
The Midlands Air Ambulance Charity is staging the Mission Critical exhibition which features photographs to tell the stories of some of those whose lives have been saved over the last 30 years.
For more information about the exhibition, locations and dates visit www.midlandsairambulance.com/events/mission-critical-exhibition/