It was a sunny October morning and Emma decided to take her daughter to the park. She had her flipflops on and was waiting for Mia out on the drive. Minutes later, she was crushed by her own car.
Emma said: “The car was parked up on the driveway and I put my foot in it to start it up. It jumped forward and shot through our brick wall, heading towards our neighbour’s house. My instinct was to stop it going into the house, so I literally stood in front of it. It crushed me in half.”
The car punctured both of Emma’s lungs. She also suffered 11 broken ribs, a snapped collar bone and a couple of broken vertebrae in her back. The London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade were first on the scene. Due to the severity of Emma’s injuries, London’s Air Ambulance was also activated.
“I remember gradually sliding down towards the floor and I was trapped right in between the car and the house. Everyone was coming out of their houses. There were fire engines and ambulances – they’d shut the whole road. It was like a scene out of Holby City.
“London’s Air Ambulance only took 8 minutes to arrive after they got their call. I was in and out of consciousness and I remember my doctor Claire saying ‘we need to make a decision quickly’. She didn’t know whether I’d make it or not.
“She knew that I had punctured both of my lungs and so decided to cut into me to drain them. The next thing I knew I was in intensive care.”
Emma was sedated in order to free her and then had a general anaesthetic performed followed by roadside surgery to re-inflate her lungs. It is possible that if these procedures had not been performed at the scene Emma could have suffocated by her neighbour’s house. Instead, Emma spent just over two weeks at The Royal London Hospital, where she received treatment and support on the intensive care unit and trauma ward. Four days after her accident she was already walking with her physiotherapist up and down the stairs.
“I can’t repay London’s Air Ambulance enough. The charity is amazing. If they hadn’t been there – if I hadn’t benefitted from their doctor’s medical experience – it could have been a whole different story.
“The doctors and paramedics are so knowledgeable and skilled at what they do and that’s probably what saved my life to be perfectly honest.”
Emma is now well on her way to recovery. Last September, just 11 months after the accident, she took part in a 300ft abseil from the top of The Royal London Hospital, raising money for London’s Air Ambulance and proving how far she has come.