East Grinstead mother reunited with crew who saved her life when she broke her neck

Liz James, who broke her neck in a car crash, with Air Ambulance doctor Simon Wood who saved her life

Liz James, who broke her neck in a car crash, with Air Ambulance doctor Simon Wood who saved her life

First published in News by

A MOTHER who broke her neck in a car crash has been reunited with the doctor who helped save her life.

School administrator Liz James was driving back to work after having lunch with her family when she was involved in a head-on collision with a lorry.

The 34-year-old was trapped in the wreckage for more than an hour and also suffered a broken leg and foot.

Paramedics were first on the scene but called for the Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance because Mrs James' injuries were so serious.

Air ambulance doctor Simon Wood and paramedic Richard Crabb sedated Mrs James and gave her pain relief before putting her leg in traction and immobilising her spine.

Mrs James was airlifted to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton following the accident in Wilderwick Road, East Grinstead, last November.

She made a good recovery and recently visited Dr Wood at the air ambulance base in Redhill to say thank you.

Mrs James, who had been conscious while trapped in the car, said: “I just felt so lucky to be alive. I remember thinking that I needed to get back to school and help organise the re-sitting of the GCSE exams but when they got me out of the car I passed out.

Dr Wood said: “I was particularly concerned the fracture in the leg was cutting off blood flow to the lower parts of her leg. This is potentially a limb-threatening injury requiring immediate treatment.

“When I saw Liz at Redhill, she was walking with the aid of a stick but she looked so well and cheerful.

“It was great to have the time to chat with her, fill in some of the gaps and explain the effects of some of our treatment.

“It gives us the rare opportunity to see the long-term value and impact our work has on the patients we treat.”

Mrs James, from East Grinstead, said “Seven months on, life already feels back to normal and we want to do what we can to support the air ambulance.

“Without other people’s generosity, the air ambulance would not have been able to help me.”

People can donate to the air ambulance by calling 01622 833833 or visiting www.kssairambulance.org.uk.

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