Sean Russell, 48 from Clacton-on-Sea, is a retired Close Protection Specialist whose life was saved by Essex Air Ambulance following a serious Road Traffic Accident. Despite his disabilities, Sean can now continue his fundraising for the Air Ambulance through ownership of a new limited edition TGA Breeze S4 mobility scooter.
Before his accident Sean was a successful international bodyguard responsible for protecting high-profile clients such as the Spice Girls and King Hussein of Jordan. In 2007 he was unfortunately knocked off his moped at speed and sustained serious injuries, especially to his legs. He was rescued by the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) team on board the Essex Air Ambulance who were able to save his life. Since that horrific day, Sean has been able to demonstrate his gratitude through volunteering and fundraising for the charity.
Sean has undergone several operations to reconstruct his legs, including a pioneering ankle transplant, and continues to rebuild his life to this day. Nevertheless walking is extremely difficult hence the need for a mobility scooter to remain independent and mobile. Sean regularly organises merchandise sales, presentations and air show events for Essex Air Ambulance - all easier now with the help of a mobility scooter made famous on BBC's Top Gear.
Sean's new scooter is the same model that won the extreme mobility scooter challenge that was broadcast on BBC2 and involved the then Top Gear presenters competing to reach the summit of a Welsh mountain. A TGA Breeze S4, driven by a disabled Help for Heroes war veteran, won the competition through successful negotiation of many muddy and rocky trails. Sean now has this performance at his fingertips as he explains: "My new Breeze is the best. I am a huge fan of Top Gear and will never forget seeing the Breeze on the telly for the first time, it was amazing and that episode was particularly funny, I keep watching clips from it. My version is a limited edition black model that is already making quite an impression when driving around in Clacton. It will make family life and organising Air Ambulance fundraising events so much easier."
Sean continues: "I will always be indebted to Essex Air Ambulance for saving my life. The Pilot, Pre-Hospital Care Doctor and Critical Care Paramedic were all so amazing on that terrible day. Now alongside another volunteer, I work hard to raise as many donations as possible for the Air Ambulance. Without access to National Lottery funding and with only limited support from Government, the Charity relies upon the generosity and goodwill of the people and businesses of Essex to remain operational and keep saving lives."
The Essex Air Ambulance helicopter flies seven days a week and is called out to an average of three serious incidents everyday. At the scene, the HEMS crew can deliver advanced clinical care that is normally only found in the Hospital Emergency Department and can then convey the patient by air or land to the most appropriate hospital for their needs.
Shaun concludes: "Without charitable funds, these specialist helicopters, crews and equipment would not be available to save lives in the county. I find my charity work so rewarding, it gives my life focus as I continue with my rehabilitation. Combined with ownership of a new TGA Breeze, I really enjoy everyday with my wife and daughter. You only really appreciate freedom when you've experienced losing it, freedom is priceless."