Solihull lads' stories of survival - thanks to the Air Ambulance - The Solihull Observer

Solihull lads' stories of survival - thanks to the Air Ambulance

Solihull Editorial 31st Jul, 2021   0

TWO young men from Solihull seriously injured in crashes have thanked Midlands Air Ambulance crews for helping save their lives as they celebrated the charity’s 30th birthday.

Charlie Fogarty from Shirley and Aaron Carmichael from Hickley Heath suffered traumatic brain injuries when they were involved in separate collisions.

The pair received vital life-saving treatment from Midlands Air Ambulance.

Charlie was stabilised by the air crew to enable him to be transferred by land ambulance to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.




Aaron was conveyed as a major trauma by the air ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital; the helicopter had departed the scene before the police arrived so serious was his condition.

Charlie and Aaron, both now aged 25, spent months in hospital.


Their families instructed expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell who secured substantial settlements to fund the specialist rehabilitation, support and therapies which have enabled both of them to live as independently as possible.

Charlie and Aaron have now met members of the Midlands Air Ambulance charity to thank them personally for coming to their rescue. The charity is marking its 30th anniversary this year, including a touring exhibition Irwin Mitchell is sponsoring.

Hilary Wetherell, a specialist serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who supported both families said: “Charlie and Aaron suffered truly terrible injuries and it’s testament to the expertise of the air ambulance crews involved in their care that they survived.

“Charlie and Aaron have showed tremendous courage to make the best recovery possible.

“Both continue to astound us with the progress they make and the determination they show to help inspire others who may find themselves in a similar situation.

“Their stories highlight the fantastic work everyone connected to the Midlands Air Ambulance does. It was great for Charlie and Aaron to meet each other again and also meet those who helped save their lives.

“The Midlands Air Ambulance provides a phenomenal service to the wider Midlands region and we are thrilled to be able to support the charity and its fantastic work in its 30th anniversary year.”

Charlie’s story:

Aspiring footballer Charlie Fogarty was 15-years-old when he was hit by a car overtaking a bus while crossing the road in Birmingham in March 2012. He was in an induced coma for 11 days and spent four months in intensive care and further six months in a specialist brain rehabilitation unit.

Before the crash he had finished a four year stint at Birmingham City FC’s Academy and was on trial with Milton Keynes Dons.

However his injuries left him needing to learn how to talk, walk, dress, and perform basic tasks again.

Now he is a motivational speaker. Charlie was awarded the MBE in 2018 for services to young people in Solihull.

He said: “While I still face many challenges I know I’m lucky to be in a position where I can tell my story to hopefully help others. This wouldn’t have been possible without the emergency care I received.

“I’m so grateful to all of those who have helped me over the years. Many people like me will always owe a debt of gratitude to the air ambulance. I can’t thank them enough for what they did for me.”

Aaron’s story:

Aaron Carmichael was aged 17 when he was knocked off his motorcycle by a van in July 2013. After arriving at hospital via the air ambulance he underwent life-saving surgery.

He spent three months in hospital before being transferred to a specialist brain rehabilitation centre where he spent more than two years.

When he arrived at the unit, Aaron was unable to speak and communicated by blinking, eye pointing and movement of his left arm. For some time, Aaron was paraplegic; he could not move his legs and right arm and had to be fed via a tube.

After a care package was put in place Aaron started to make progress in his recovery.

He is now able to walk for some part of each day and talk with the help of assistive technology.

While he requires 24-hour care he has recently moved into his own bungalow, giving him the independence he wanted.

His mum Debbie, said: “Aaron had his whole life ahead of him.

“It was a normal summer’s day, eight years ago, when I got the call I’ll never forget.

“It’s no understatement that Aaron only survived because of the amazing care he received.

“Getting to meet members of the air ambulance and say thank you was really special for us all.”

Charlie and Aaron were at the Midlands Air Ambulance Mission Critical exhibition in Chamberlain Square, Birmingham.

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