As Wiltshire Air Ambulance marks its 30th birthday in 2020, a former patient says he owes his life to the service.

Pete Vooght, of Semington, was airlifted by Wiltshire Air Ambulance after he suffered a life-threatening episode of sleep apnoea in March 2016.

Pete, who was 71 at the time, was at home and he was unconscious and having difficulty breathing after his airway had become obstructed.

His wife, Lesley, called 999 and a land ambulance arrived after a few minutes, but the crew called for Wiltshire Air Ambulance due to the seriousness of Pete’s condition.

The helicopter landed on the playing field at St George’s Primary School, Semington, about 100 yards from Pete and Lesley’s house.

A doctor arrived shortly afterwards and Pete was anaesthetised and intubated so the medics could manage his airway and breathing.

Pete was then airlifted to Southmead Hospital, Bristol, in ten minutes and he went straight to the CT scanner.

He was in intensive care and on life support for 24 hours before regaining consciousness. He was discharged after 17 days.

Pete, who is originally from Devizes, said: “I owe my life to Wiltshire Air Ambulance, I was also very well looked after by the doctors, nurses and all the staff at Southmead Hospital.”

Throughout 2020 - which is Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s 30th anniversary year - the charity is raising awareness that it has saved a generation of people and needs to continue raising funds to be able to save the next generation.

Pete, 75, is featured in a video for the charity’s generation campaign, where he talks about what happened to him and what he has gone on to do.

In Pete’s case the charity’s intervention enabled him and Lesley to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in 2018 with their two children, four grandchildren and other family and friends.

They both enjoy playing skittles, a hobby they have taken part in for over 50 years.

Pete plays for the Semington B mens team and the Stragglers in Trowbridge, while Lesley plays for the Semington ladies A team and also for the Stragglers.

Cricket also forms a big part of their life.

A retired insurance agent, Pete used to play for Bradford-on-Avon Cricket Club and now he and Lesley watch their son and grandsons play for the club.

The couple, who met members of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance crew who attended Pete (pictured), actively support Wiltshire Air Ambulance by playing its Lottery and are members of the charity's Friends scheme.