An IT expert who broke both legs in a horrific horse riding accident has inspired his colleagues to launch a fundraising campaign for the emergency service he credits with saving his life.
Dave Murfitt, 46, is head of IT at the Wrexham-based online criminal record checks firm, Disclosure Services, which has made the Wales Air Ambulance one of its chosen charities for this year.
The company will also be raising money for Hope House children’s hospice and Teams4U, which helps deprived children all over the world with a number of fundraising activities throughout the year.
Dave, who masterminded the installation of a sophisticated new IT system at the company’s new £1.5 million offices at Ellice House, on Wrexham Technology Park, says he will be forever grateful to the Wales Air Ambulance.
He recalled: “I was riding a horse on a frosty morning and I decided to try to jump this tree trunk that had fallen over, and my horse refused to jump it.
“When I had another go, he basically stopped suddenly, and I went flying over the top of him and landed standing up on the frozen ground which was completely solid and broke both my legs. It was a frightening experience.
“I was worried that I was going to die. My heart was really going. I was starting to feel numb as well. Afterwards I was told it was shock coming on. You start getting tingling in your legs and arms. I didn’t know at the time if that was losing blood or anything because I couldn’t see what was going on.
“A little bit later the police and the ambulance arrived, but they felt it was safer to transport me in an air ambulance because they didn’t know if I’d broken my back.
“The air ambulance ensured that I wasn’t injured worse than I was and that I was safely transported to hospital.
“They took me to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd where I underwent surgery. The air ambulance potentially saved my life. I think because it’s so fast at getting you to hospital.
“I was completely secured for the flight. They strap you down so much that you can’t hurt yourself. I couldn’t really move at all. All I could see was straight up and I remember seeing the rotas whizzing around as they started it up.”
Lynne Garlick, Fundraising Manager for the Wales Air Ambulance said: “It’s great for us that Disclosure Services is raising money for the air ambulance.
“Dave’s accident happened 12 years ago and he’s still raising money. We are working with Disclosure Services to help them raise more money.
“It was important to David that the air ambulance was there because transport in a land ambulance would possibly have increased the risk.
“At the moment the Wales Air Ambulance needs to raise £6.5 million a year and every time it gets called out it costs approximately £1,500.
“The Wales Air Ambulance has four helicopters at the moment – one of them specialises in transporting children. We can be anywhere in Wales within 20 minutes.
“We’re incredibly grateful to Disclosure Services. Without people like them we couldn’t carry on flying. We rely on people like Disclosure services.”
Dan Verrier, Financial Controller for Disclosure Services said: “All the employees voted on which charities to support.
“I personally voted for the Wales Air Ambulance. One of the reasons was I used to be a keen motorcyclist so I know about a lot of the call-outs they have; especially at this time of year.
“The Wales Air Ambulance is an important service and it doesn’t get money from the government, so it needs people to support it. It wouldn’t exist without the donations. It does save lives. That’s what it’s all about.”