Rolf volunteers for air ambulance that helped save his life

Temeraire  04/02/12  (sport)''Rolf Kitching and his daughter Chloe Kitching who are fund raising for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance service. Rolfs life was saved by the service after he was caught up in an explosion whilst working  on a yacht in the New Forest.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (120422-4)
Temeraire 04/02/12 (sport)''Rolf Kitching and his daughter Chloe Kitching who are fund raising for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance service. Rolfs life was saved by the service after he was caught up in an explosion whilst working on a yacht in the New Forest.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (120422-4)
Philip Astle, SCAS chief operating officer and, right, Paul Jefferies, assistant
director of operations

Ambulance service scoops honour for services support

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SMILING next to his daughter Chloe, Rolf Kitching treasures every moment he has with his family.

He suffered major burns, which left him needing his ear and arm reconstructed.

He was involved in an explosion in the New Forest four years ago and was rescued by a helicopter from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

The 49-year-old says he owes his life to the charity, which is celebrating its fifth birthday this year, and now volunteers for them.

Rolf, of Carless Close, Rowner, said: ‘I was caught up in an explosion on a yacht. The air ambulance was called and it took me to Salisbury hospital where they have a special burns unit.’

Rolf lay in a coma for four weeks after the accident and suffered 40 per cent burns to his upper body and face.

‘I’ve lost my memory from about five days before the explosion and don’t remember anything until I woke up from the coma,’ he said.

‘My ear melted off, which was rebuilt. A lot of my skin has been regrafted and my left hand was rebuilt. My treatment is still ongoing.

‘Since the accident I have had 14 operations and I have another in March.

‘I don’t think I would be here if it wasn’t for them.

‘From where I was to get to the hospital, even on blue lights, it would take 40 minutes by ambulance.

‘Now myself and my daughter are volunteer fundraisers for the charity because we want to put something back.’

He added: ‘All this has changed my whole outlook.

‘It’s not been a very nice thing to go through.’