On 30th October 2021, Owen Roes were playing Gortin in the semi-final of the Tyrone GAA Intermediate Championship at Healy Park, Omagh. Four minutes into the game, Owen Roe player Ryan Devine suffered a serious ankle dislocation requiring the air ambulance to be tasked.
Speaking about the incident, Ryan said:
“I was in severe pain, but thankfully our club doctor was on the field with me working at getting blood circulation back into my foot and I was told an air ambulance was on the way.
“I remember hearing the helicopter approaching and then their doctor and paramedic introducing themselves to me and giving me pain relief. I don’t remember much after that so the pain relief obviously worked and by the time I came round, I was in the back of a road ambulance with my ankle put back in place.
“The doctors at Altnagelvin Hospital said all the hard work was done on the pitch by the medical team. I am very grateful for what they did for me that evening as they gave me the best chance to get back playing as soon as possible.”
The Ulster GAA Charity Skydive takes place next Friday April 14th when nine skydivers representing their counties will take on a 15,000 ft leap to raise money for the Air Ambulance NI service, as well as the Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research at Queen’s University Belfast.
Damien McAnespie, Fundraising Manager for Air Ambulance NI, said:
“On behalf of the service and charity, I want to thank Ulster GAA for their support. The Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) is tasked twice on average each day somewhere in the region, attending the worst trauma and medical incidents. Although we may automatically think of road traffic accidents, farming incidents or falls when we think of the word ‘trauma’, serious injuries can also occur in sports and recreation activities such as Gaelic football resulting in the patient requiring pre-hospital treatment in a timely manner.
“This is where Air Ambulance NI can make a difference. Reaching any part of Northern Ireland within 25 minutes, the consultant doctor and paramedic team can deliver critical care interventions such as inducing a coma, performing surgical procedures, delivering blood transfusions or administering advanced pain-relief on the roadside, in a person’s home or in this case, on a football field.”
For over five years, the air ambulance service has been operating for 12 hours daily, 365 days of the year providing life-saving pre-hospital emergency care. The service is operated by a partnership between the Northern Ireland Ambulance service and the charity, Air Ambulance Northern Ireland. In that period, the HEMS has been called upon on over 3,400 occasions to critically ill and injured patients of every age and background.
Each year, Air Ambulance NI aspire to raise in excess of £2 million to maintain and sustain the service. Unfortunately, none of us know who may need this service in the future but it is important that we all support it in any way we can. You can support by making a donation, joining our membership club, taking on one of our events, doing your own fundraiser or by leaving a gift in your Will.
You can support your county’s skydiver and donate to the Air Ambulance NI service and Prostate Cancer Research at Queen’s University Belfast at ulster.gaa.ie/skydive.