Earlier this month the London Air Ambulance held their largest charity auction of the year to raise support for their services. The biggest bid of the night, however cynically ironic considering the occasion, came at the opportunity for the bidder to die at the hands of James Bond.
The London Air Ambulance is a team of trauma doctors, pilots, and one helicopter who serve, you guessed it, the city of London. They effectively provide pre-hospital care for patients in critical emergencies, and maintain the capability of a full Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit in a mobilized platform, often operating at the scene of critical incidents before transporting patients to further treatment at hospital.
"Trauma patients can suffer injuries, which must be corrected quickly in order to prevent death or life-long disability. Our team works alongside the London Ambulance Service to provide rapid, effective treatment as soon as possible after injury. Our advanced trauma doctor and paramedic can perform procedures to relieve pain, straighten broken limbs, perform open chest surgery to restart the heart, give blood and deliver emergency anesthesia. At the roadside. Within minutes of injury."
For such a conservative team, they put up very impressive numbers: they treat an average of 6 seriously injured patients every 24 hours, they have an 18% survival rate for open chest surgery, which is currently the best in the World, and after 25 years of service they have helped 32,053 patients and counting, all coming from a platform the size of a small van. One of those patients happened to be Sir Stirling Moss himself.
Back in March of 2010, the racing legend managed to fall down three floors of an elevator shaft in his London home, at the just-walk-it-off age of 80, shattering multiple bones. The London Air Ambulance was called, and immediately began work to ensure the least amount of long-term damage. You can see his and other patients emotional testimonies in the video below:
The London Air Ambulance's Silver Gala is seen as "The crowning event in the charity's fundraising calendar," with 250 invited guests of "high society" from around London. The unexpected Guest Of The Night was author Anthony Horowitz, who is currently penning the next James Bond novel which is based on an original Ian Fleming story. The book, currently code-named Project One, features our favorite British spy assigned to save national hero Stirling Moss from a Soviet plot during a race at the famous Nürburgring. You can read more about the upcoming book in an earlier article, here.
With his strong connection to one of the Air Ambulance's most famous patients, and being a successful London author, he kindly attended the event and agreed to auction off a place in his upcoming book for the highest bidder on behalf of the charity. To tease the crowd of over-tailored suits and designer hair bands, the author went above and beyond with his offer:
"Some writers might simply mention the name of the successful bidder but I intend on doing something rather more. The bidder will appear both by name and by physical characteristics. Aspects of their personality and life will be woven into the story and there's a chance that the character will meet Bond - and perhaps even be killed by him!"
The appeal of dying at the mercy of what is quite possibly the most famous international character to ever be written (and subsequently filmed), the bidding wars began. The Bond lot generated the greatest interest of the event, with the two highest bidders exceeding £30,000, or close to $50,000! Due to the surprising turn out, Horowitz agreed to honor both of the bidders with a role in the novel, immortalizing them forever in the longest lasting entertainment franchise in history. The Gala raised a grand total of £120,000, or $187,000.
Please consider donating to London's Air Ambulance to ensure they can continue to provide unprecedented relief to victims of serious incident. Without their service the life of Sir Stirling Moss and 30,000 others would not be as they know it today.
So how much would you pay to be a part of an internationally famous series as big as Bond? How much do you think a ride in that fancy amberlamps-choppy of theirs costs?
Justin Westbrook is a 20-year-old who is
the General Manager of a Jimmy John's sub shop in North Carolina. He spends his spare time watching James Bond movies, trying to be serious about going to college, and is really into The West Wing right now.