Airlifted Patient Lewis is Manchester United’s Matchday Mascot
On Sunday, 12 year old Lewis Cullen from Hadleigh in Suffolk who was airlifted by Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT) in May 2012 lived every boy’s dream and led the Manchester United Team onto the pitch at Old Trafford as their matchday mascot. The team played Tottenham Hotspur in a premier league match that saw Manchester United win 3-0.
This was made possible thanks to Hertfordshire (Hemel Hempstead) based technology company, Epson, Manchester United’s Official Office Equipment Partner who has worked with EHAAT since 2013 as the company’s charity partner. Epson has raised over £15,000 for the charity through a number of staff initiatives including Quizes, cake bakes, dress down Fridays and sponsored bike rides. The company has also recently donated pairs of tickets to home games at Old Trafford for the Charity to auction off to raise funds.
Lewis was 9 years old when tragedy struck on 18th May 2012 when he was knocked down by a vehicle travelling at 55mph. Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust was tasked within minutes and Pre-Hospital Care Doctor Marc Wittenberg and Critical Care Paramedic Dan Firmin attended to Lewis providing advanced critical care at the scene prior to airlifting him to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge. Lewis had suffered a broken collar bone, fractured elbow and unfortunately his leg was almost completely amputated. Despite this Marc and Dan did their best to save his leg by cleaning and splinting it while administering strong pain relief. Lewis has since made a remarkable recovery and was reunited with his heroes Marc and Dan at the Air Base shortly after his accident.
Lewis attended the match with his mum Lyndsay, his cousin Oliver Bardsley and Oliver’s mum Louise Carroll. As part of the match day mascot experience Lewis also walked onto the pitch at half-time and cheered on Oliver as he took a penalty kick against Manchester United’s mascot ‘Fred the Red’.
Mark Reynolds, Business Director for Epson in the UK said: “We are delighted that we were able to give Lewis a day to remember and to help EHAA along the way! As a major employer in Hertfordshire it’s important that we are able to help the work carried out by charities in our local area.
Cristina Barone, Herts Fundraising Coordinator at Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust, adds: “We are so grateful to Epson for choosing us as their Charity of the Year and allowing us this exciting opportunity to be part of a Manchester United home game. We were delighted to be able to offer Lewis the match day mascot experience after everything he has been through and for him to share such a memorable moment with his mum on Mother’s Day.”