Former RAF bomb disposal expert generously donates £2,000 of compensation money to GNAAS

A FORMER RAF bomb disposal expert has donated £2,000 of compensation money to the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) after they came to his aid following a car crash.

Thomas Frederick Knox, 82, from Armathwaite in Cumbria, was driving to see his GP when he collided with another vehicle in Wetheral on June 6 2014.

Mr Knox sustained a fractured sternum, vertebrae and collarbone and GNAAS treated him on scene before airlifting him to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

Recalling the incident, Mr Knox said: “I was in the car going to the doctors, then next thing I know, I’m sat in the car and I couldn’t move.”

Thankfully Mr Knox managed to recover from his injuries, and when he celebrated his 80th birthday he received £500 in donations for GNAAS, which he gave to the charity last year.

Today (August 8 2017), Mr Knox revisited the GNAAS airbase in Langwathby, near Penrith, as he received £2,000 compensation money from his car accident and decided to donate it to the charity to help keep their helicopters flying.

During the visit he met GNAAS aircrew doctor Jeff Doran who treated him on the day of his car accident.

He said: “The GNAAS crew were first-class and I knew I was safe in Dr Jeff Doran’s hands.

“When I got the compensation money I had already planned to give it to GNAAS as they offer a marvellous service and we couldn’t be without them.”

Mr Knox now plans to carry out fundraising activities in the future to help support GNAAS.

Grahame Pickering, chief executive of GNAAS, said: “This money was paid to Mr Knox as compensation for the trauma he experienced. In an act of sheer selflessness and generosity he has then donated it straight to us. We are humbled.

“Mr Knox typifies the kind of spirit that keeps the air ambulance flying. Without him, and the countless others who make regular sacrifices, we wouldn’t be able to keep flying.”

GNAAS needs to raise around £5m every year to keep its service running. To find out how you can help, please visit

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