Mercy dash to hospital

Devon Freewheelers battle flood to get the matron to hospital.

Honiton-based charity Devon Freewheelers helped save the day after battling through floodwater to ensure the dialysis unit at the town’s hospital could continue treating patients.

The charity’s founder Daniel Lavery, with the help of its donated Land Rover, responded to a call for help from the haemodialysis matron at the dialysis unit at Honiton Hospital, Laura Bell, who found herself unable to get to work on Saturday due to the severe weather conditions.

“It is the first time we have ever been called out to try and get the matron to the hospital,” says Daniel. “Being able to help that one person helped the whole unit. We are delighted to have been able to help.”

“These are the worst conditions we have experienced in quite a long time and the vehicle did the job we wanted it to do,” added Daniel.

He told the Midweek Herald that the conditions got considerably worse and recalls passing submerged cars and other vehicles stuck on the roads.

In order to travel to the hospital they had to travel eastbound on the westbound carriageway of the A30.

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Daniel says the important journey was made possible with the assistance given by the Highways Agency and the police.

Laura was transported safely to Honiton and able to treat patients with the help of the charity’s Land Rover, which was donated by the Managing Director of Otter Windows back in 2011, and proved to be invaluable during the floods.

Laura added: “It would have been extremely difficult and would have probably meant that patients got less time on the dialysis machines.

“It is a really good example of how people in the community pull together during floods to make sure we could provide continuity of service.

“I want to thank the Freewheelers. Their assistance was invaluable and we are grateful for everything they do for us.”

During the weekend the donated Land Rover was called upon numerous times to provide assistance.

Daniel added: “Donations like these are critical. The idea of the charity is to try and save a life and our motto is ride for life. Without the Land Rover we might not be able to offer the service at all.”

The charity helps transport blood, human tissue and other medical supplies to hospitals and transfusion banks.