Sheffield climber lends support to helipad campaign after fall ordeal

Johnny Dawes being rescued

Johnny Dawes being rescued

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A rock climbing star who almost lost a leg in an accident on Stanage Edge was reunited with the medics who saved him as he backed the appeal to build a £2 million helipad at the Northern General Hospital.

Johnny Dawes, from Sharrow, was airlifted to the hospital with a serious fracture after landing awkwardly when he jumped off the gritstone edge.

The Sheffield Hospitals Charity still needs to raise £400,000 to build the new helipad, which will mean patients can be transferred to A&E in seconds.

The current helipad was built more than 20 years ago and is located away from the hospital, requiring a transfer by land ambulance.

Johnny, aged 51, who has been climbing since the age of 14, was trying to complete a route using just his feet at the time of his accident a year ago.

“I’d climbed up about 15ft but as I couldn’t go up or down I jumped off as I’d done hundreds of times before and from much higher spots. I heard bones breaking and saw bits of bone sticking out of my leg but strangely there was no blood.”

A friend called 999 and the Edale Mountain Rescue rushed to the scene before he was flown to hospital.

“This helipad will save time and that can make all the difference,” said Johnny, who is famous for his dynamic climbing style. “It’s just fantastic that I got my leg back.”

Plans for the helipad have now been granted permission by Sheffield Council.

Visit www.sheffieldhelipad.com or call 0114 271 1351 to donate.