LAA honoured for saving youngest shooting victim

Caption: Dr Vidar Magnusson and Caroline Appleby with Thusha.

London’s Air Ambulance (LAA) medics have been honoured for the life-saving treatment they administered to a five-year-old shooting victim.

In 2011, Thusha Kamaleswaren was caught in a gang crossfire in Stockwell, London, taking a bullet to the chest. Dr Vidar Magnusson and advanced trauma paramedic Caroline Appleby, the advanced trauma team on duty for LAA that night, performed emergency anaesthesia and surgical procedures on Thusha. Her lungs were collapsingand her heart stopped beating so Dr Magnusson performed a thorocostomy on scene.

“All I was thinking was that I couldn’t let her die. She was five and she’d taken a bullet to the chest,” said Dr Magnusson. Thusha was rushed to the major trauma centre at King’s College Hospital in a land ambulance where the team performed further major clinical interventions and saved her life. Dr Magnusson recently flew over 1,000 miles from Iceland to accept the Emergency Lifesaver Award and re-unite with Thusha.

“It is a great honour for our service to receive such a prestigious national award,” said Lead Clinician Dr Gareth Grier. “What Vidar and Caroline did that night reflected many years of innovation and attention to quality care in our service. We train our medical teams to a high standard, constantly look to introduce new procedures – so that no matter what we are faced with when we reach the scene we can push the boundaries of traditional care to try and make a difference.”

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