East Anglian Air Ambulance CEO joins former patient for 30 for 30 challenge

01 December 2022

East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) CEO Matthew Jones has joined former patient Laura Bird to run the final half marathon of her 30 for 30 challenge.

Laura has run thirty half marathons every day of November to celebrate her 30th birthday and to raise money for EAAA who attended her when she nearly lost her life four days after her eighteenth birthday.

Laura’s story

In November 2010, Laura was attended at the roadside by EAAA having been hit by an articulated lorry after attempting to take her own life. Sustaining horrific injuries, including a severe head injury, Laura was left fighting for her life.

Although the emergency services, from the Police to the Highway Services to the NHS, worked together that evening, Laura says that she believes she owes her life to EAAA. In a quote from her book: 10-10-10: My 10-year journey from suicide attempt to ultra-marathon runner, she says:

“Without their leading role, by effortlessly saving life and limb at the roadside, I’m quite sure that I wouldn’t be here today.”

Laura Bird

Laura spent many months in rehabilitation learning to walk again and her attitude to life is now one of immense gratitude, from the small things like enjoying a cup of tea to the more impactful things like helping to inspire people to ‘realise their capabilities and appreciate how precious life can be.’ 

The 30 for 30 challenge is the second event she has done to raise money for EAAA having completed 10 marathons in ten days on the tenth anniversary of her incident.

“When you have come so close to losing your life, every day really is a privilege. You develop a burning ambition to do absolutely everything you can with it, then do a little bit more! I am so passionate about this incredible charity and the life-saving work that they do. I am so grateful to be able to push my body to the limit, to not only inspire others but to honour those who saved it. It has been so special to have had such influential members of the EAAA team run with me on my 30-day, 393-mile journey. I am so proud of the money we have raised, the community we have created and of course every single wet, cold, windy, brilliant mile we have covered!”

Laura Bird

Having run with Laura on the ninth day of her challenge EAAA CEO Matthew Jones has also returned to support her on the 30th and final day. 

“I’ve long admired Laura’s inspirational attitude and I’m incredibly privileged to have joined her for two days of the challenge. It is extremely rewarding to be able to follow one of our patient’s journeys to recovery, and to see how the critical care interventions EAAA took to the scene have allowed Laura to live such a rich life and inspire so many people with her incredible positivity.”

Matthew Jones


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