Magherafelt lecturer wins Air Ambulance NI car competition

Colleen McGrath, a tourism lecturer at Northern Regional College’s Magherafelt campus, has been announced as the winner of the Simon Osborne Air Ambulance NI Appeal’s car competition.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 10:04 am

A delighted Colleen said she was thrilled with the win.

“I’ve known about the amazing work that Air Ambulance NI does, so I was happy to support such a good cause but never expected to win.

“I was so surprised to hear that I had actually won something. The only thing I’ve won before was a meat hamper,” she said.

Colleen McGrath who was the winner of the car competition.

Colleen said she would continue to support Air Ambulance NI as she had known a few people who had benefitted from the services it provides.

The competition, the latest fundraising effort of the Osborne family, raised almost £36,000 for the charity, bringing the total raised to date to over £165,000.

They initially embarked on their fundraising drive after Simon Osbourne (28) was seriously injured in a motorbike accident in January 2019. The prompt response of the Air Ambulance NI crew, who were able to perform roadside emergency surgery, saved the life of the Ballymoney man.

Simon’s younger brother Luke and uncle – David McIlmoyle – both work at Northern Regional College.

David, an electrical and electronic engineering lecturer at the College’s Magherafelt campus, said Simon was very fortunate to have survived the accident.

“Simon’s injuries included the loss of sight in his right eye; broken ribs, sternum, left arm, pelvis and left leg; punctured lungs; a ruptured spleen and bowel, as well as general nerve damage. He is still recovering but is very fortunate to survive,” he said.

Thanking everyone who had contributed to the family’s fundraising efforts to date, David added: “It costs £2 million a year, or £5,000 a day, to provide the air ambulance service. Thanks to the fundraising efforts of others in the past, Simon was able to benefit from Air Ambulance NI so we are doing what we can in order to raise awareness and funds to keep this vital service going.

Northern Regional College’s Students’ Union has selected the Simon Osborne Air Ambulance NI Appeal as its nominated charity this year.

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