We have had the good fortune to get to know some inspirational people in our 25 years of working with wheelchair users.
One of these is our former trustee, Marcus Watkin, who is now a leading campaigner and volunteer with the Midlands Air Ambulance.
In the 18 years since the accident which left him a permanent wheelchair user he has worked consistently for the organisations that helped him come to terms with his injuries including Ethos.
“What a fantastic charity it is. I was fortunate enough not to require its services as we moved into a bungalow straight from me being discharged from Oswestry but I was asked to become a trustee in ???.
“I enjoyed my time as a trustee and was part of some changes to the charity over the years, which has made Ethos a great, efficient and useful charity for many spinal injured people. I have been inspired by the many people I’ve met over the years at the spinal unit and at the properties that Ethos has,” he said.
Marcus’s life changed forever in 2002 after suffering a C5 injury in an accident when his motorcycle was hit by an elderly motorist driving on the wrong side of the road.
His two sons were just 5 and 8-years-old and his wife Ann was told he would not survive the trauma. But thanks to the immediate response of the Midlands Air Ambulance he was airlifted within the “golden hour” to the North Staffordshire trauma unit in a journey which he says saved his life.
He was later transferred to the Midlands Centre for Spinal Injuries at the RJAH Orthopaedic Hospital where over the next nine months he started to come to terms with being a permanent wheelchair user.
He went on to become an Ethos trustee for 14 years from 2005 and over the last 11 years has devoted his energies to his work as a volunteer for the Midlands Air Ambulance, earning him the accolade of Volunteer of the Year for the charity in 2018. He visits schools, colleges and groups to talk about the work of the air ambulance and its absolute reliance on fund raising to cover the £9m cost of operating three air ambulances and response cars.
He is also involved in the patient carer group for the Shropshire and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust and well as serving on the West Mercia Police independent advisory group and the Shropshire Wheelchair Users Group and Shrewsbury Access Group.
In amongst all that he finds time for fishing, cooking, clay pigeon shooting and shoots small bore rifle as a team member in the Shropshire inter counties competition. “I could not have got where I am now without the excellent support of my wife, family and friends plus those I have made along the way,” he said
So we are delighted that such a busy man counts Ethos among his friends and is happy to support us in helping our clients learn to live again.
Thank you Marcus!