Meet Dr David Sutton

A taste of my own medicine

For years, Dr. David Sutton campaigned for a helipad. Thanks to the HELP Appeal, it was opened in 2011.

“It was an insight I never wanted to have, but a year ago I found myself flat on my back on the stretcher of our Air Ambulance being flown into the new helipad at the Southampton Major Trauma Centre, where I am one of the consultant trauma anaesthetists.

When tending to a casualty at the scene of a car accident as flight physician, I was run over and in an instant, had gone from being the doctor, to being the most seriously injured patient.

A scan confirmed that I had indeed broken my leg – a spiral fracture of the tibia, corkscrewing up from the ankle joint two thirds of the way up my lower leg, effectively leaving the middle of the bone floating.

After a couple of days to let the swelling go down, I was operated on and a long metal plate was screwed to the inside of my tibia to hold it altogether. I was home the day after, knowing I would not be walking for months, but grateful my leg was still attached to me. After four months mobilising, I returned to work in the hospital, and after six months strengthening the leg, I was back on Air Ambulance duty.

We can now fly seriously injured patients directly onto the helipad at Southampton General Hospital, which has developed into one of the UK’s leading Major Trauma Centres.

I would rather not have been run over, but the experience has given me an insight on a very personal level into the extraordinary value of your generous support, and the new helipad you have helped to fund.”


“I watched as the helipad was built, not knowing that one day, it would be me that needed it”

Dr. David Sutton, Flight Doctor, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance