In December 2011, 24 yr old Emma McEachan was on her Kawasaki motorbike heading to Kent with a friend for their traditional Sunday roast in a country pub. The route taken was one that Emma had travelled many times before and she slowed to only 25mph before leaning into the bend. In a freak accident her motorcycle slipped on the damp tarmac and both Emma and her motorcycle slid into the path of an oncoming Ford Fiesta.
The police who arrived on scene realised the extent of Emma’s injuries and requested the help of London’s Air Ambulance. The helicopter landed in a back garden near by and the team’s agility was tested when they had to scale a large iron gate to get to Emma’s side.
Emma had a severe leg fracture and chest injuries which impeded her ability to breathe. The medical team, Dr Timothy Lightfoot, and paramedics Jodie La Sage and Dan Ballard, anaesthetised her before performing a thoracostomy, to allow her lungs to re-inflate, and splinting her leg and pelvis. They then made the decision to take her to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel via helicopter. Thankfully the London Fire Brigade were on hand to physically remove the gate on the way back.
Commenting on her accident, Emma said: "My recovery has proved to be the most challenging period of my life thus far. It took 6 months before I was able to start learning to walk again and the pain has been intense. I have to remember though, that at 25 I almost lost my life - what's a little leg pain following such a huge trauma? Had it not been for London's Air Ambulance, I am certain I would have died on the 18th December 2011. For saving my life, I am forever indebted to this essential, wonderful, heroic service."To complement her pneumothorax scar, Emma recently had the London’s Air Ambulance logo tattooed as a permanent reminder of the emergency service who saved her life.