Case Studies

Andrew Wilding

SARS volunteer doctors and paramedics have attended thousands of serious medical incidents around Suffolk and its borders and helped save countless lives.

What words can adequately start to thank an organisation that saved my life? These specialist volunteers from Suffolk Accident Rescue Service are truly remarkable. My family and I thank them for what they did for me on the evening of my cardiac arrest.

Andrew Wilding, treated by a SARS critical care team in November 2016.







Tony Turner

Tony Turner, 32, was riding home on his motorbike when he was involved in a collision with a car. Tony suffered multiple serious injuries including fractures to nine different bones, and a specialist volunteer critical-care doctor from Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) was dispatched to work alongside ambulance paramedics at the scene. Tim Lightfoot, the SARS doctor involved, realised as soon as he arrived that Tony needed to be transported to the major trauma centre at Addenbrookes Hospital. However, it was essential that Tonys condition was first stabilised to ensure that he survived the journey. Dr Lightfoots background as a Consultant in anaesthesia and Intensive Care meant he was able
to perform complex procedures at the scene not normally undertaken outside a hospital environment. He then accompanied Tony in the ambulance to Addenbrookes to ensure that his condition remained stable throughout the journey.
I know it was a massive team effort but, without the volunteer SARS doctor being there, things would have been completely different. I would almost certainly be dead. Every day I wake up is a bonus. Nine out of ten people with my injuries would have died.


Gary Wright

Forty-nine-year-old, Gary Wright was watching a film in Bury St Edmunds with his family when he suffered a cardiac arrest. Two nurses, who happened to be in the audience that night, rushed to Garys assistance and started performing CPR. Meanwhile Garys daughter rang 999 and an East of England Ambulance was dispatched to the scene. A specialist critical care team from the Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) was also mobilised to provide enhanced medical support. Gary was defibrillated at the scene and the emergency personnel successfully managed to re-start his heart. He was then accompanied by the Suffolk Accident Rescue Service team to Papworth Hospital to undergo an emergency operation. Throughout the journey, Gary was monitored and assessed by the SARS team who were ready to make specialist interventions to stabilise him if necessary.

This could have happened to anyone. I feel that I have been very lucky. I particularly want to give thanks to the volunteers who were involved in helping save my life. The two nurses who gave me CPR, if it was not for them nothing else would have mattered and the SARS team, I wanted to thank them also because they are all volunteers.


Samantha Turner

Samantha Turner, 45, suffered a cardiac arrest in Ipswich. A SARS volunteer team was mobilised to provide specialist critical care for Mrs Turner. Working with Paramedics from East of England Ambulance Service and a support crew from the St John Ambulance, the SARS team treated Sam at the scene. It was soon clear that she needed urgent surgery at a specialist cardiac centre to remove a clot from one of the arteries supplying her heart. SARS volunteers, Dr Neil Berry, CCP Jemma Varela and Dr Justin Brown accompanied Sam in the back of the ambulance to the cardiac centre in Basildon, over fifty miles away. During the course of the journey, Sams heart stopped again several times and the SARS team had to undertake complex prehospital interventions in order to keep her stable. It is rare for patients to survive from this particular scenario so it is really pleasing to know that Sam has now made an excellent recovery.

I'm so grateful to all the emergency services that attended, I am in no doubt that their quick response and the critical care from the specialist volunteer SARS team saved my life. I can't believe that these dedicated people are willing to give up so much of their time for free to help others and save lives - thanks to these heroes I can now look forward to the rest of mine.


Lyndsey Collier - Greateful for the help of SARS.

Lyndsey Collier

Lyndsey Collier was driving on the A131 near Sudbury when she was involved in a serious road traffic collision with a bus. Lyndsey sustained multiple life-threatening injuries including significant abdominal injuries and a broken neck, leg, arm and elbow. A volunteer critical care paramedic from Suffolk Accident Rescue Service was first on scene and treated Lyndsey while fire crews worked to free her from her car. She was subsequently taken to the Critical Care Unit at Addenbrookes where she remained for four weeks before being discharged.

"I can't believe how lucky I am, I am so grateful for the help of the volunteer team from SARS, there is no doubt in my mind that the immediate treatment that I received from them was hugely influential in the outcome, it may not have been so positive otherwise."



Brian Baker

Brian Baker's car was in collision with a lorry on the A140. He sustained critical head and facial injuries and was trapped in his vehicle for nearly an hour. A volunteer SARS doctor managed to keep him alive by inserting a special breathing tube into his airway while he remained trapped - the first time that this technique had been used in pre-hospital care anywhere in the world. Brian was then flown by the RAF directly to hospital where he underwent emergency brain surgery, and our SARS doctor flew with him to ensure that his condition remained stable. Despite suffering critical injuries, Brian made a magnificent recovery.

"The odds were really stacked up against me, no one expected me to make it to hospital alive, let alone survive, Dr Andy Mason from SARS, the RAF crew and the staff at Addenbrookes Hospital saved my life. Without them I would not be here today."

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Our charity relies entirely on voluntary donations to fund equipment and training and help us offer the best possible service to the people of Suffolk and its surrounding areas.