Page last updated at 06:16 GMT, Thursday, 24 April 2008 07:16 UK

Boy's 26k to Wales Air Ambulance

Iestyn Davies with Wales Air Ambulance paramedics Chris Morgan (l) and Mel Thomas  (picture: Wales Air Ambulance)
Iestyn Davies with paramedics Chris Morgan (left) and Mel Thomas

An 11-year-old boy has handed over 26,000 to a Wales Air Ambulance crew who helped save his life after he fell off his bike.

Iestyn Davies, from Talgarreg, Ceredigion, suffered serious head injuries in April last year.

He was unconscious for two weeks and his parents were told he might not survive, but he has since made a remarkable recovery.

Iestyn's family were impressed with the charity and started raising money.

They collected 18,000 from a barn dance, while the rest of the money came from a sponsored walk staged by Iestyn's friends and other local events.

Meanwhile, last Christmas Iestyn's father, grandfather and uncles stripped off for a calendar.

Without the air ambulance... I'm absolutely sure Iestyn wouldn't be alive today
Helen Davies, Iestyn's mother

Iestyn was seriously injured when he fell over his bicycle handlebars and smashed his skull, damaging his brain.

In the days that followed medical staff prepared his parents, Helen and Gary Davies, for the worst after turning off Iestyn's life support machine.

At the time, even if he did survive, Mr and Mrs Davies had feared Iestyn would be left with severe brain damage.

But a year on, he is walking, talking and is back at school.

Mrs Davies said: "Without the air ambulance, who got him to Morriston Hospital so quickly, I'm absolutely sure Iestyn wouldn't be alive today.

"When I think where he's been and where he is now it's absolutely unbelievable."

'Dire straits'

Luckily, the air ambulance crew were in the area following Iestyn's accident.

Air ambulance paramedic Mel Thomas said: "When we got there I could see he had an absolutely horrific head injury.

"He really was in dire straits, but it was one of those jobs that went like clockwork."

The rest of the crew, including paramedic Chris Morgan and pilot Tony Gilson, flew the young patient to hospital in Swansea.

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