Belfast Telegraph

Racing doctor John Hinds charity fund is to be set up

By Christopher Woodhouse

The partner and family of "racing doctor" John Hinds have made an emotional public appeal to realise the motorbike medic's dream of getting a dedicated air ambulance for Northern Ireland.

In a moving open letter, his partner, Dr Janet Acheson, and Hinds family members said that they passionately believe in the need for a helicopter emergency medical service and have pledged to establish a charity fund to support his vision. Dr Hinds (35), who worked as an consultant anaesthetist at Craigavon Area Hospital, was fatally injured while providing medical cover at the Skerries 100 motorcycle races practice session near Dublin on July 3.

The Portaferry man was travelling behind the riders as they made their way around the course during the opening lap of the practice session when his bike crashed into a wall. He died in hospital the following day.

Dr Hinds was an ardent supporter of the use of helicopters to speed the injured to hospital and a petition has supporting his call has gained 50,000 signatures.

In the letter, his family said: "We passionately believe in maintaining his dream that Northern Ireland should have a first-rate trauma network with a doctor-led helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) at its core, so that our survival rates are improved and more lives can be saved. Please sign the petition supporting the call. Please do not part with a penny until an official trust or charity fund is launched to support John's vision.

"It remains our dearly-held wish that John's unique call-sign of 'Delta 7' is once again heard over the ambulance service airways as the HEMS helicopter is cleared to land on the helipad of the roof of the Royal Victoria Hospital, or in a field or country lane to provide lifesaving medical intervention to anyone in need."

As one of the famed "flying doctors" of Irish motorcycle racing, Dr Hinds provided lifesaving support during high-speed bike races, including the North West 200 and the Dundrod races, saving many riders' lives.

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