14-Jul-2016 Source: EAAA
Her Majesty the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh visited the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA). During the visit, Her Majesty opened the Charity’s new operating base, the Egerton-Smith Centre, which is sited at Cambridge Airport.
The Royal party arrived at 11:20 am and were met by the Lord Lieutenant Sir Hugh Duberly and welcomed by local dignitaries. The Queen and The Duke were given a tour of the new facility and briefed on the work of EAAA. The Duke of Cambridge was able to show them the H145 aircraft he flies for the Charity. The Queen and The Duke then met some of the Charity’s volunteers, patients, crew and support staff. The Queen unveiled a plaque formally opening the new facility and met the founder of the Charity after whom the building is named, Andrew Egerton-Smith.
The Queen was then introduced to EAAA patient, Boffie Brown along with Dr Ed Gold and CCP Jemma Varela, who were the clinicians who attended her after a serious road traffic collision two years ago. Boffie suffered multiple injuries and was treated at the scene before being taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Boffie had sustained a bleed on the brain, a broken pelvis, two broken vertebrae and extensive damage to her kidneys. She has made a full recovery and is back riding her horse competitively.
Two-year-old Pepe Casonova presented the Queen with a posy of traditional English flowers including sweet peas, cornflowers and scabious. Pepe became seriously ill in March 2014. His parents, Ana and Mark Casanova, realised something was wrong with their then, five-month-old baby, Pepe, when he lost consciousness at their home in Wymondham.
Unbeknown to them at the time, he was suffering from multiple organ failure as a result of undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes and was close to death.
The couple immediately called 999 and the East Anglian Air Ambulance was deployed to the scene, with Dr Daniel Kornhall and critical-care paramedic Andy Downes on board. Pepe and his family were formally introduced to the Queen along with former patients, John Bourne, Jack Charlie Tyson and Mark Warren.
The Egerton-Smith Centre is named after the Charity’s founder and President, Andrew Egerton-Smith MBE. Constructed from pre-fabricated materials, the purpose-built new base offers improved energy efficiency and insulation, resulting in reduced running costs. Operational since December 2015, the facility provides work and rest space for the Charity’s clinicians and pilots, together with support staff and volunteers. The base was built using money raised locally from regional supporters.
Major General Sir William Cubitt, EAAA Chairman, said: ‘We are delighted and honoured that Her Majesty the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh visited the EAAA base today formally to open the Egerton-Smith Centre. It has been a truly wonderful and memorable day and one that our staff, volunteers and patients will treasure’.
EAAA Chief Executive, Patrick Peal, said: ‘Our success depends as much on the huge support we get from volunteers and donors as it does on our dedicated staff; on this great occasion I would like to thank each and every one of them for all that they do’.
HeliHub.com editor note – the Queen arrived from one of her country residences in Norfolk in the Royal Flight Sikorsky S-76C++ to this event, departing to Buckingham Palace in London afterwards. Later in the day she received David Cameron, who has stepped down as Prime Minister of the UK and then Theresa May, his successor in that role.