Fenland motorcyclist backs Magpas fundraising campaign

A FENLAND motorcyclist whose life was saved by a Magpas doctor is backing a campaign to raise a million pounds for the charity.

Mark Clingo lay dying on the roadside after a collision with a car left him with horrific injuries.

It took just 14 minutes for a Magpas volunteer doctor to reach Parson Drove by helicopter. He worked on Mark for two hours to stabilise him sufficiently so he could be airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Today 35-year-old Mark is urging readers to give generously to the organisation’s ‘one in a million’ campaign. It has been launched after the shock news that air support to the charity is being withdrawn by the East Anglian Air Ambulance which will no longer use the team of highly qualified volunteer medics from Magpas.

Magpas Helimedix needs the �1m so its doctors and paramedics can continue to save lives. It claims accident victims in Fenland could face life-threatening delays because of the decision by EAAA.

Mark said: “I think it is disgusting, I cannot understand why EAAA are doing it. I think they are playing with people’s lives. Magpas are the best at what they do in the country and I would be devastated if it could not go on.

“I am one of the lucky ones. I have been left partially disabled but I am alive and that is all thanks to Magpas.”

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It was in February 2007 that Mark of Sealey’s Lane, Parson Drove, was thrown off his motorbike after a collision with a car. The call was received by Magpas at 5.06pm and the helicopter carrying Dr Mark Folman arrived at 5.20pm. The charity’s emergency vehicle was also soon on the scene.

Mark said: “I had a punctured lung, broke three vertebrae, and had torn nerves which means I have the use of only one arm. But it was from the few words that I could manage to say that the doctor, because he was so advanced and experienced, realised I had brain damage. I had to be sedated so I could be moved to hospital.”

The damage to his brain meant that Mark was kept in an induced coma for many weeks and it has left him with short term memory problems. He underwent two operations at a London hospital in an unsuccessful bid to restore movement to his damaged arm.

On the road to recovery Mark, a former sales manager for an engineering supplies company, showed his appreciation to Magpas by working for them for a year as a fundraiser and events co-ordinator.

He said: “I would encourage everyone to give a pound to the appeal. If Magpas could have its own helicopter it would be fantastic. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.”

The campaign was officially launched this week by British swimming champion Mark Foster. A Magpas spokesman said: “ Magpas provides all its life saving service on a charitable basis and we need the public’s support more than ever before. Magpas Helimedix can only continue to respond to medical emergencies across our region with your support. The sad reality is, you never know when you may need us.”

This newspaper will be donating the proceeds of its stall at the Cambs Times/Wisbech Standard Christmas Charity Fair to the appeal. Staff will be manning the stall at March’s Oliver Cromwell Hotel on Saturday November 27.

You can also send �1 in a card to Magpas Helimedix, 105 Needingworth Road, St Ives, PE27 5WF or visit www.magpas.org.uk

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