Grateful Felmingham raises funds and awareness for East Anglian Air Ambulance that saved his life
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015
A north Norfolk farmer is set to turn his trailers into moving billboards promoting the air ambulance that helped save his life.
Tim Papworth from Felmingham suffered head injuries when he fell 14ft from a ladder while changing a light bulb five years ago.
He has just had an emotional reunion with the helicopter doctor who helped deal with his brain bleeds.
Mr Papworth, 47, whose family also runs butchery shops at Sheringham and North Walsham, has vowed to keep on supporting the rescue charity through charity days at his farm.
And after the winter beet harvest is over he aims to clean his trailers and festoon them with stickers for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
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He said that without the efforts of the paramedics to stabilise him and fly him to a special trauma unit in Cambridge he would have suffered brain damage - instead of making an almost full recovery.
Mr Papworth had the top of his skull removed to release pressure and replaced by a titanium cover during treatment after his fall.
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But for a year he just had the skin over his recovering brain and had to wear a cycle helmet every day for protection.
He also has titanium in his spine where eight vertebrae were fused and three discs removed.
'Apart from some loss of hearing I am back to normal - working, skiing and riding horses,' said Mr Papworth whose family farm has crops and livestock.
'It can set off the machines at airports so I keep pictures of my treatment on my phone to show officials,' he added.
The accident happened at a Tunstead potato store in October 2010.
And five years on he was able to meet air ambulance doctor Haris Begovic for the first time at Norwich Airport.
'You cannot give someone a box of chocolates or a bottle of whisky when they have given you your life,' he said.
'So my gift is to do everything I can to promote the work of the EAAA, and everybody who helped save my life.'
Farm opens days, and trailer hire for farm tours had raised thousands to help keep the EAAA flying. And his was planning his sticker campaign for the New Year to help raise funds and awareness.
'Being a farmer we see the yellow helicopters flying over all the time - but you never know when you might need them,' he added.
Bosnian Dr Begovic, now works in Austria, but happened to be back in the UK for Mr Papworth's accident anniversary.
He was 'really happy' to see that he was all right having - five years ago been unsure if 'he was going to make it or not.'
Mr Papworth added: 'I feel very lucky to be able to tell my story today. I have been through hell and back, but when I look back I feel very fortunate that the people who helped me were able to save my life.'
His remaining ambition to get back to life as it was is to get his HGV Class 1 driver's licence back after a five year period of having no problems from his accident.