Former Willingdon pupil on documentary after injury


A former Willingdon school pupil airlifted to hospital by Sussex Air Ambulance after an accident at a skate park is to appear in Channel 4’s documentary 24 hours in A&E tonight (Monday June 16).

Max Parks, 16, suffered serious head and facial injuries when he fell 14ft while performing a stunt at a skate park.

Paramedics from the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) were first on scene before calling in the Air Ambulance due to the severity of Max’s injuries.

Pilot Captain Kevin Goddard landed on the industrial estate before the charity helicopter’s doctor Steph Tilston and critical care paramedic Chris Fudge carried out emergency treatment at the scene.

Dr Tilston said: “When we arrived at the skate park, Chris and I carried out a rapid assessment of Max’s injuries. He had suffered significant facial injuries and fractures which were bleeding heavily.

“He had also sustained a significant head injury and had lost consciousness, which was making it very difficult for Max to get air into his lungs.

“In order to protect both his airway and his brain, we performed an emergency anaesthetic. This involved rapidly administering anaesthetic drugs and then placing a tube into in his windpipe, allowing ventilation of his lungs with oxygen.

“We then flew Max to King’s College Hospital (London), monitoring him all the way, giving medication to try and protect his brain from further swelling and damage.”

Captain Goddard flew Max to the major trauma centre within just 30 minutes – a journey that could have taken an hour-and-a-half by road.

The final episode of the current series of 24 Hours in A&E, called Boys Don’t Cry, shows Max arriving in the resuscitation area where Dr Tilston catalogues his injuries and treatment at the scene.

Doctors at King’s needed to ensure that Max was stable before taking him to CT scan as his parents were rushed to the hospital under police escort.

Three years ago, Max was involved in another scooter accident on Eastbourne seafront which left him fighting for his life. He suffered horrific internal injuries after being impaled by the handlebars and had to be given four pints of blood.

Max was not airlifted then but in February last year the Air Ambulance started carrying blood so that transfusions can be carried out at the scene of an accident and emergency. In the first year alone, the advanced medical procedure was performed nearly 70 times.