The Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset has had a surprise reunion at Glastonbury Festival with the paramedic who saved her life 20 years earlier.
Annie Maw, the Queen’s representative in Somerset, was presenting the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to Festival Medical Services (FMS), and spoke of her gratitude for the care she received from paramedics after she suffered a horse-riding accident and broke her back in 2002.
To her surprise, Mike Gray, the first paramedic to treat her on that day, is part of FMS at Glastonbury and stepped forward to introduce himself.
The pair had not seen each other since the day of the accident, with Mrs Maw describing the event as “the best thing I’ve done” as Lord-Lieutenant, adding that it was “as good as having lunch with the Queen”.
Addressing FMS before presenting the award, Mrs Maw said: “I had an accident 20 years ago when I was doing crazy things and had to be rescued by someone with medical knowledge, so I do understand from the other end of the spectrum how important you are.
“I admire you immensely and I feel so privileged as a local resident to be presenting you with this award, this is the zenith of my time as Lord-Lieutenant, this is the holy of holies.”
Glastonbury’s founder Michael Eavis was there to see Mrs Maw present the award to FMS.
The team of medical volunteers first started working at the festival more than 40 years ago, in 1979.
FMS’ doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals, along with support staff, volunteer at music festivals and other high-profile outdoor events throughout the year.
They provide on-site emergency medical service for fans, and expect to see around 5,000 people over the course of Glastonbury Festival, the vast majority of whom will be experiencing only minor illnesses or injuries
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service recognises work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities.