The daughter of a Marlow man who was rushed to hospital by an air ambulance has taken on a half-marathon challenge to raise money for the charity as a thank you to the crew who saved her father’s life.

Francesca Dale completed the London Landmarks 2022 Half Marathon on April 3 to raise funds for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance, which treated her father, Nigel, after he sustained life-changing injuries in a cycling road traffic collision in Hambleden in July 2020.

The 20-year-old university student said the work of the crew was “absolutely crucial” in ensuring her dad survived his injuries and has been backed in her bid by legal experts CFG Law who are supporting Nigel and who described Francesca’s efforts as “inspirational”.

Nigel Dale, 58, sustained such serious injuries in the collision that he was left fighting for his life, needing six pints of blood at the roadside. 

After he was treated at the scene by the Thames Valley Air Ambulance crew, he was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital where he then spent five weeks in ICU.

The fast response and actions of the team had a huge impact on Mr Dale’s chances of survival.

He sustained severe pelvic fractures resulting in extensive internal bleeding, multiple spinal fractures, a bleed on the brain, fractures to his elbow, and nerve damage in his leg.

Despite making some improvements in his condition, Nigel is still reliant on a wheelchair to get around.

Now, his daughter says giving something back to the charity will help them support more people and save many more lives. 

Francesca said, “I wanted to do something to raise money and to say thank you to the people who saved my dad’s life. Without their quick response and resources, I don’t think I’d have my dad with me now. 

“The work they do and the critical care they provide to so many people is absolutely crucial. Any money I can raise to keep their doctors and paramedics saving more lives is just so important.

“It was a tough challenge, but it’s for such a great cause and when it got tough, I just remembered what they did for dad, and it drove me on.”

So far, Francesca has raised over £1,200 through her JustGiving page, double what she originally set out to raise.

Nigel, who has just been discharged from the Oxford Centre for Enablement after 6 months of treatment for his injuries, said: “I’m so proud of Frankie for taking on this challenge and raising money for the fabulous TV Air Ambulance.

“I literally owe them my life.

“I’m so grateful to all the people who treated me and kept me alive, both from the Air Ambulance and the doctors and nurses at the John Radcliffe Hospital, who were all fantastic.”

Sarah Coxon, associate solicitor at CFG Law, said: “We help so many people who have received invaluable support from air ambulance crews right across the UK and are so thankful for the support they provide in times of crisis.

“We’re so proud of Francesca for her inspirational fundraising efforts for this fantastic charity, which ultimately saved Nigel’s life.

“We’ll continue to support Nigel and the whole family, focussing on what we can put in place to ensure Nigel achieves the very best outcome in his recovery and provide emotional support for the whole family.

"Our Client Support Manager, Gill, has been helping to support Nigel with liaising with his treating team and accessing local services to make sure he has all the support he needs now he has been discharged from the hospital.” 

If you’d like to support Francesca, you can find her JustGiving page here.