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London Air Ambulance Team Tackle the Marathon des Sables

StepJockey is proud to have been associated with some amazing people over our five years as a company. We wanted to start a series of guest blogs and features that shines a light on the incredible work done both in the health community and in the wider world.

With that in mind there is possibly no better person to kick this series off than Tom Konig. Tom is British Army trauma and vascular surgeon who works at Royal London Hospital and with the London Air Ambulance. In this guest blog Tom gives us the lowdown on a team from the London Air Ambulance who are undertaking an incredible challenge to raise much needed funds for the London Air Ambulance.

Take it away Tom!

London's Air Ambulance is a charity that provides an Advanced Trauma Team consisting of an experienced London Ambulance Service Paramedic and a senior Doctor that helps to augment the response of the London Ambulance Service to the most severely injured trauma patients within the Greater London area, roughly enclosed within the M25 and home to over 10 million people.  

During the day, the team respond by helicopter and at night drive in a fast response car carrying the same amount of equipment.  The service is nearly 30 years old and has looked after over 35,000 patients. These patients may have suffered falls from height, injuries in a road traffic collision or injuries as a result of stabbings and shootings, they look after the elderly and occasionally the very young.  

Over the years they have attended every major incident that has occurred in London.  The service has pioneered roadside open heart surgery, the provision of blood transfusion resuscitation and was the first prehospital service in the world to resuscitate patients suffering severe blood loss by placing a balloon in the aorta to control bleeding.  Patients are treated on scene by bringing the hospital, the operating theatre and the intensive care unit to the patients side before transferring them to the nearest Major Trauma Centre.

As a charity, the service depends on the generosity of a number of sources, city businesses and institutions and Londoners themselves.

In an effort to highlight the charity's work and raise much needed funds a team consisting of the CEO, the chief pilot, Helipad Fireman, Paramedics and Doctors are running this years Marathon Des Sables (MDS) in the Moroccan desert.  The MDS is reputed to be one of the toughest foot races in the world and the self sufficient runners cover over 150 miles in 7 days of running. The team's efforts are made all the more remarkable and poignant because the team will be made up by two very special people, one a previous patient, who is now a doctor and the sister of one of the patients.

The work of the London Air Ambulance team is often considered the epitome of a high performing team at work and this venture goes some way to show how important the team ethic is. The challenge ahead of us will be physically and mentally demanding for us all.  We will suffer the effects of the heat, fatigue, blisters and dehydration but our suffering will be nothing compared with that of our patients who have suffered traumatic injuries.

As a team we are hoping to raise over £50,000.  This is a large amount of money, but considering that each patient costs approximately £2000, this is only 25 patients, less than a weeks work for the service.  

We have been training hard, running to and from work, taking part in our local parkruns and for me, using the stairs at every occasion.  With 17 floors from ground floor to helipad at the Royal London Hospital and accompanied by the StepJockey app to help me on my way, I have been preparing for the Moroccan mountains.  In two months I have taken 57,000 steps and attained the Mount Everest Climb trophy! The Stepjockey App along with the recent stair climbing challenge at the Royal London Hospital has seen a huge number of staff avoiding the lifts to take to the stairs to compete and to keep fit.

To continue to help the people of London we need your help and If you can give a little, we can hopefully do a lot.  Please have a look at our Just giving site and follow our efforts during our challenge ahead on our Facebook page.

© StepJockey 2019