Farmer praises air ambulance after machine crash

4:30 p.m. December 8, 2021

7:30 p.m. December 8, 2021

A farmer on the Shotley Peninsula has relived a farm machinery accident that left him seriously injured in the legs ahead of the Suffolk Young Farmer’s Tractor Run this weekend.

Old and modern tractors will roll from Mowness Hall to Bacton and back in a procession hosted by Suffolk Young Farmers as they raise funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

The young farmers’ club based near Otley will raise money for a cause dear to many members, as rural areas mean farmers often seek help from the air ambulance.

One person who knows all too well the vital importance of service is 56-year-old Chris Suckling.

Mr Suckling was only two weeks away from his 50th birthday when the unthinkable happened one day in July while working on the farm.

He got caught in a potato digger, crushing his leg and breaking it in six places. He might not have survived without the rapid response of the air ambulance.

Mr Suckling says air ambulance saved his life
– Credit: East Anglian Air Ambulance

He said: “The potato harvester veered and hit a trailer. I was then stuck between the two. I couldn’t move and because I was upright the blood was just flowing.

“It wasn’t until the fire department came and cut all the material that they were able to pull me out and lay me horizontally.

“They then had to stop the bleeding and the air ambulance transported me to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, about 9 minutes from here to there.

“By road, I probably wouldn’t have done it – I pretty much credit the air ambulance for saving my life and my leg. ”

Mr Suckling’s 20 year old son Harry, who has some involvement with Suffolk Young Farmers, said: “I love to ride quads. If I had an accident in the middle of the field, there is very little chance that a land ambulance could reach me.

Harry Suckling, 20, drives a tractor

Chris’s son Harry says air ambulance is a vital service for rural industries
– Credit: Mary Suckling

“Everyone in young farmers has interests that are in the countryside and sometimes when things go wrong the air ambulance is your best chance to get out alive,” he added.

The Tractor Run will take place on December 12 at 10 a.m.

For more information or to donate to the East Anglian Air Ambulance, see here.