Welsh Ambulance worker completes London Marathon to raise funds for the charity that saved her dad’s life
A Welsh Ambulance Service worker has completed the London Marathon to raise money for the charity that helped save her father’s life.
Natasha Preston ran the iconic 26.2-mile route on Sunday (April 23) to raise money for the Wales Air Ambulance, who came to her dad’s rescue when he was knocked off his bike in a cycling accident.
The Investigations Supervisor Officer, who is originally from Beaumaris in Anglesey, and now lives in Bangor, said she wanted to give something back to the lifesaving Charity.
She said: “A couple of years ago, my dad was knocked off his bike. He went over the windscreen and his bike was completely written off.
“The Wales Air Ambulance rushed to his attendance, and he was flown to Ysbyty Gwynedd. He was bruised all over, but if it wasn’t for his helmet, it could have been much worse.
“You never think it’s going to happen to your family, or that you’re ever going to need to use the service, especially when you work within the NHS.
“But obviously that’s not true, and I’m just really grateful for the Wales Air Ambulance that they were able to help.
“Running a marathon is something I wanted to do, but I thought it would be nice to give something back to repay them for their service.”
Natasha completed the TCS London Marathon in just over five hours and has raised £1,341 for the Wales Air Ambulance.
She described the day as “amazing” and said she was “thrilled” to have crossed the finishing line.
The 34-year-old said: “I’ve always been a runner although I have only run 10k before. I only applied
via a ballot place, so I was really lucky to get a space.
“I started training back in October and I can’t believe I have completed the London Marathon. It’s a shame I wasn’t quicker, but I’ve had a few niggles with my foot during training, so I just wanted to cross the finish line. I feel thrilled, relieved, sore, exhausted and elated.
“Some of the highlights of the marathon include seeing some of London’s famous landmarks. It was great running around the Cutty Sark and Tower Bridge. The atmosphere was amazing and the crowd were brilliant. I received lots of high fives and sweets. One of the lows was probably being overtaken by a gingerbread man!”
Natasha, who first joined the Trust as a 999 call handler five years ago, said the support she received for the London Marathon had been fantastic.
Her work team had been very supportive and her dad had kept her company on training runs on his bike. Her family all made the journey from Wales to the capital to support her on the weekend.
She said: “My dad is very proud and pleased I am raising money for the Wales Air Ambulance. He personally knows how much of a worthwhile Charity it is. It was great having my dad and my family cheering me on.
“Knowing I was helping a Charity that benefits the people of Wales rather than a larger national Charity made me feel even more proud.”
Natasha wants to thank everyone who has kindly given her donations.
She said: “I’m so pleased with the amount I’ve raised. My target was £260 (£10 for every mile) and I definitely surpassed that. I’m very grateful to everyone for their generosity.”
The Charity relies on charitable donations to raise £8 million each year to keep the helicopters flying and rapid response vehicles on the road.
The Wales Air Ambulance service offers advanced critical care across Wales. It is delivered via a unique Third Sector and Public Sector partnership between the Wales Air Ambulance Charity and the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS Cymru).
As a result, the service is consultant-led and is known as a ‘flying emergency department’, taking hospital-standard treatments to the patient at the scene of an incident.
This includes the ability to administer anaesthesia, deliver blood transfusions and conduct minor operations, all at the scene of an incident.
Alwyn Jones, Wales Air Ambulance Community Fundraiser, said: “Natasha should be very proud of herself on completing the London Marathon and raising over £1,341 for the Wales Air Ambulance.
“It is an incredible achievement and all her training and commitment paid off. Natasha and her family personally know how valuable the Charity is after her father needed the service a few years ago after a bike incident.
“We are so pleased to hear that he is back on his bike and was able to cheer Natasha on at the London Marathon.
“We wish her the warmest of thanks for her tremendous fundraising.”
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