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Ambulance staff help patient and mother with trip of a lifetime

Press Release 8 September 2010

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust (SECAmb) staff helped a regular patient achieve an ambition of a lifetime by helping her on board a helicopter for a sightseeing tour over London.

A flight in a helicopter had always been a dream for Chrissie Harris, 65, from Medway who suffers from cystic fibrosis but upon speaking to helicopter firms she found their insurance would not cover their employees handling passengers in and out of the aircraft.

However, after speaking to SECAmb staff, Paramedic Sheldon Jury, and Technician Chris Treaves, it was agreed the pair would be happy to assist Chrissie and her mother Charlotte, 90, in and out of the helicopter on a day off. Sheldon recommended she spoke to a local firm, AV8 Helicopters, who were happy with the arrangement and were able to take to the skies with Chrissie and Charlotte from Rochester Airport on Sunday August 22.

Chrissie said: “It was truly an amazing and unforgettable experience. I’d like to thank everyone involved who made it possible. My mother is almost blind but she had a fantastic time too and said it was an experience she’d never want to have missed out on.”

Chris Treaves said: “Sheldon and I were more than happy to help make the flight possible. We’re delighted, along with the staff at AV8, pilot Simon Huggins and personal assistant Sarah Huggins that she was able to achieve her ambition. Chrissie and Charlotte’s smiles said it all.”

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