THE family of a soldier who was airlifted to hospital after an incident at an army base in Cumbria has thanked the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) who flew to his aid.

Josh Osborne, 22, from Morpeth, suffered back, chest and facial injuries when a military vehicle rolled over at Warcop Training Area, near Appleby, on June 4 where Sergeant Mark Foley died and another was injured.

GNAAS was tasked with flying to the base and assessed the casualties before airlifting Mr Osborne to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

Josh’s father, Colin Osborne, said: “His recovery so far has been remarkable.

“I know without the prompt attention of the air ambulance things could have been different and I believe it was 35 minutes from the initial call to arriving at James Cook.

“No words can really express our thanks to the charity and for their speed and professionalism shown.”

Josh, a lance corporal and weapons instructor with the Light Dragoons, has been in the army since he was 16 and completed a tour of Afghanistan last year.

He has been supported in hospital since the accident by Colin, a pilot who lives in Holland, his mother Judith, who lives in Bedlington, and sister Josey, who studies at York University.

Colin said: “Josh has now moved out of the intensive care unit and hopes to be able to leave hospital to recuperate at home soon, after which he plans to return to the army.”

Mandy Drake, deputy director at GNAAS, said: “We are really pleased that Josh is on the mend.

“We know the family already have plans to continue their support to the charity in the future, for which we are immensely grateful.

"It costs around £4m every year to run the service that covers the North East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria which is generated through charity. Every penny makes a real difference.”

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