50-mile trek for helipad campaign

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A MOTHER from West Suffolk is retracing the 50-mile route from her son’s car crash near Stowmarket to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, to raise money for air ambulance crews and highlight the need for a helipad at the hospital.

Juliet Betts, 45, a A4e tutor at HMP Highpoint North, was at work on August 23 last year when police told her her son Darren ‘Daz’ Betts had been in a horrific car accident in Forward Green, near Stowmarket, and had been airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Darren, who was 19 at the time, suffered life-threatening injuries including a broken neck and it was believed would never walk again.

But a year later, Daz is back on his feet and back at work as an electrical technician.

To mark the one year anniversary of the accident, mother-of-three Juliet is trekking from the site of the crash to the place the helicopter landed near the hospital. She hopes to raise as much money as she can for the East Anglian Air Ambulance and Addenbrooke’s Hospital and to highlight the need for a helipad.

She said: “He had a C2 broken neck and we were worried he would be left a paraplegic.

“He was found by a retired A&E nurse and was rushed by air ambulance to the hospital – it gave him the best chance possible.

“What we want to do with the walk is raise awareness that there is no helipad at Addenbrooke’s.

“If you are going by air ambulance it means you are certainly very ill and at the moment it lands near the hospital and there is another 11- minute drive.”

Juliet will be joined on her walk by her Darren, daughter Rachel and MP Dan Poulter. They plan to set off on her journey on August 22 at around 12.30pm, the time Darren was injured, and expect to arrive at Addenbrooke’s on August 23.

If you would like to sponsor Juliet, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/dazsairwalk