TOM Goulding is only six-years-old but he knows he is lucky.

Two years ago, his leg was snapped in two in a mountain bike accident.

The injury was serious and could have resulted in amputation. An ambulance was called along with an Essex and Herts air ambulance.

The highly qualified helicopter team administered drugs to sedate Tom to ensure his safe journey to hospital.

Tom’s mum, Freya Goulding, 33, of St Michael’s Road Colchester, said: “Tom was four-years-old and we were at the High Woods Country Park in Colchester when he was hit by a mountain bike.

“He suffered compound fractures to both his tibia and fibula.

“We called an ambulance but we needed more help so they called the air ambulance.

“The helicopter gave Tom a good distraction and they landed with a doctor and a critical care paramedic.

“The air ambulance paramedics were able to give Tom ketamine and fentanyl to sedate him.

“I don’t know how they would have moved Tom without it and causing more trauma.

“The damage was limb-threatening and I don’t like to think about what could’ve happened or what would’ve happened had they not been there.

“They aren’t Government funded and I don’t think people realise that.”

This week is Air Ambulance Week and Tom will be among those supporting the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust along with the UK’s 20 other air ambulance charities.

The week highlights how the teams save lives every day right across the country and is calling on residents to support them to allow them to continue to provide lifesaving care.

The Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust is a charity and relies on donations.

The current Covid-19 pandemic has proven disastrous for the trust which is suffering a financial crisis.

Covid-19 means it has been unable to fundraise so covering the cost of each mission, which is about £2,200, is getting much harder.

Helicopter teams are vital due to their ability to get to remote or inaccessible locations quickly.

Unlike a land ambulance, the trust’s helicopters carry a pre-hospital care doctor and a critical care paramedic as well as specialist equipment.

This allows them to carry out advanced and life-saving clinical interventions at the scene which would otherwise need to wait until a patient reached hospital.

They can then take the patient straight to the most appropriate hospital, avoiding lengthy transfers between hospitals.

In 2019, the trust’s crews were dispatched 2,238 times and attended 1,526 patients.

However, this gold standard service comes at a cost of more than £750,000 a month, about £9 million a year.

Tom knows it’s worth it.

Now recovered, he plans to run a mile a day for the duration of air ambulance week with his dad, Chris, 33.

Freya added: “We were in a Tesco car park last year when we bumped one of them - Phil who was the critical care paramedic.

“Tom was just in awe - they’re heroes to him.

“Their aftercare was incredible. Tom had an operation on the day of the break to have a lot of metal put in and then another operation to take it out.

“Afterwards, we were invited as a family to go visit the team.

“Tom’s dad is in the army and he was part of the team which ran to raise money for Colchester Zoo.

“Tom and his dad plan to run one mile a day for seven days .

“It’s a small target of around £150 which is also the cost of one hour of flying fuel.

“If we hit that then we’ll have to think of another target.

“ Covid-19 has put a new spin on things as they haven’t been able to do their fundraising.

“Now they need our support more than ever.”

To donate to Tom’s cause, visit or for more on the trust go to