Poetry Giving for Marcus.
People often ask me why I chose Midlands Air Ambulance Charity as the beneficiary for my Poetry Giving book. The answer is best illustrated by a real life story…
There are ordinary days in every person’s life… and then are those days when something happens to change everything. Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of paying a visit to meet Marcus and Ann Watkin.
With the kettle on, Ann told me that in three weeks’ time the couple will be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. Back in July 2002 though, Ann could be forgiven for thinking that this Silver wedding celebration might never happen…
It was July 6th; a lovely warm summer’s day and Marcus had just set off with his beloved Kawasaki Owners Club on a trip from Shrewsbury to the mid Wales coast. “There were nine of us” he said, “and I was number seven of the nine.”
Marcus was riding his teal blue Kawasaki GPZ 550 towards the back of the group on the A458 when a car moving in the opposite direction veered across to his side of the road for no apparent reason at the time. The impact was horrific. The car hit Marcus in a head on collision and he was thrown quite a distance down the road. He suffered multiple injuries and several fractured bones across his body including his devastating spinal injury. “There was plenty of traffic on the road that day,” continued Marcus, “so plenty of people would have seen the crash.”
A quick thinking policeman on the scene, spotting the severity of Marcus’ injuries, summoned the help of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity. “It took them just 14 minutes to get him to hospital” recalls Ann. “If they hadn’t flown him by helicopter, he wouldn’t be here today.”
Marcus cannot recall any moment after seeing the car pull into his path, and sadly, due to the extent of his injuries, he was in a coma for six weeks. Ann had some very worrying moments, including an awful time when Marcus went into cardiac arrest, and the family were called to his bedside, as it had been expected that he wouldn’t survive until tea time. Thankfully, some four weeks later, more promising news of his recovery shone new hope on the family for their future. Ann and Marcus have two great sons, Thomas and George, who stayed with Ann’s parents for a while whilst Ann was visiting in the hospital. Frequently at his bedside, Ann, who used to be a nurse herself, recalls all the endless hours of worrying about what was to come. In total, Marcus spent fifty weeks in hospital, just two weeks off a whole year. Despite this period being an anxious time for the Watkin family, they are forever grateful to Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.
“If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here.” Marcus is full of praise for their efforts. “Put simply, they are responsible for saving my life.”
I am delighted to say that Marcus, being a very positive character with a great “can do” attitude is now living a relatively contented life. With Ann’s help, together with his loyal PA, Bev, (who has now worked alongside Marcus for 11 years and is viewed as one of the family) they are pursuing normal activities and dealing with day to day matters with gusto. Marcus commented “I can drive and get about; in fact I will be driving to collect my son from the train station close to midnight tonight.” Marcus is an inspirational man. He enjoys clay pigeon shooting, and has mastered the art of shooting left handed, as his right arm is limiting in its use. Still connected to his motorcycle club, and charitable at heart, he has been keeping busy with many good causes in mind. He drove his car to the arctic circle for Hope House charity with 35 others, 25 of them on motorbikes. “It wasn’t the same as riding my Kawasaki… it was an old bike, but it was a good bike, but just being there was the next best thing.” He now also volunteers for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity whenever he can and he is also involved with the Transhouse charity based in Oswestry, where he has been a trustee for around 8 years.
As I drove away from my meeting with Marcus and Ann I thought about how far they have come, and I was inspired to spread the word more and more about the incredible work Midlands Air Ambulance Charity do. Whilst the outcome for Marcus still remains limiting, in that he is wheelchair bound, this man’s energy and zest for life is obvious when you meet him. He is not about to let this accident get in the way of his future and I admire his spirit. How wonderful that he can live his life now, because of the efforts of an amazing crew and a helicopter, delivering him as efficiently as possible to a highly skilled team at the hospital. Teamwork at its best. (Midlands Air Ambulance Charity are 100% funded by charitable donation).
So you see…that is why I wrote “Poetry Giving” and I am hoping that we can sell as many copies of the book as possible for this very worthwhile cause.
Priced at just £6.99 for the paperback version or just £1.99 on Kindle, the book is available now on Amazon.
Thank you for making a difference.