Steve Landrey, 51, has embarked on a 186-mile hike to raise money for Wales Air Ambulance and the British Heart Foundation. Landrey, who worked as European Managing Director for air ambulance operator, Babcock, collapsed while cycling with friends. He suffered a cardiac arrest and stopped breathing.
Wales Air Ambulance responded to the scene and,ironically, Babcock holds the contract to run the Wales Air Ambulance’s aviation operation.
Landrey said: “It was incredible to be on the receiving end of the work I was previously involved in providing. Like every other patient, I was in a frightening and vulnerable situation and without the fast response and quality care offered by the Wales Air Ambulance critical care team and others on the scene I may not be here today.
“Undertaking this fundraising walk is my way of showing my thanks for the care I received. When I managed Babcock’s European air ambulance operations, I was always proud of the people who worked with me, but this has just reinforced my faith in their dedication and expertise.”
Friends and family join in on the walk
When Landrey collapsed, he was fortunate that in the traffic passing the scene was an off-duty fire officer with his first responder girlfriend, and had a defib unit with them, which they used to restart Steve’s heart.
After the air ambulance arrived, its critical care medics escorted Steve via a road ambulance to hospital in Swansea, UK. After having an emergency stent procedure, Steve was discharged from hospital three days later and the road to recovery started. Just nine months later he started his epic challenge, with his cardiac rehabilitation instructor David Braithwaite, and has already clocked off more than half of the 186 miles.
The pandemic made people more aware of medical professionals
Landrey stated: “The pandemic has certainly made us all aware of the incredible job our medical professionals provide for us all. When you come into emergency contact with it as I did, it is certainly a humbling experience. I’m very pleased with the amount raised so far. It would be fantastic if we could raise more and perhaps double the amount by the end of the walk.”
Babcock Director Hayley Belmore said: “We are extremely proud to be part of the incredible service the Wales Air Ambulance Charity provides, but when you respond to someone you know, it really amplifies it.”
Dr Sue Barnes, Wales Air Ambulance Chief Executive, added: “Our Charity has worked in partnership with Babcock for many years and Steve was on the receiving end of a service that he has proactively been involved in. It’s incredible to see his resilience following his cardiac arrest and his fundraising efforts will benefit two very important charities.”
Last year, the Wales Air Ambulance achieved its ambition to become a 24/7 service, thanks to donations from the people of Wales.