When Gladys was hit by a car at the age of eighty, doctors said most thirty year olds wouldn’t survive her injuries - broken leg that had to be amputated, collapsed lung and multiple fractures. The London's Air Ambulance team treated Gladys at the scene and she was then flown to The Royal London Hospital. "I was a little upset that I went in a helicopter over London and didn’t see anything,'' said Gladys. So we took her to celebrate her 90th birthday at our helipad.
In 1994, Gladys was hit by a car on Barking Road East Ham when going to an Indian head massage class. Before London’s Air Ambulance arrived at the scene of the incident, she was trying to get up, claiming she needed to go home and make tea for her husband.
The helicopter landed on the crossroad nearby and the team from London’s Air Ambulance initially suspected head injury, as there were cuts on Gladys’ forehead. This was ruled out after a CT scan in the hospital. Doctors in The Royal London Hospital operated on her left leg for seven hours but did not manage to save it and Gladys eventually lost her leg above the knee.
However, Gladys had a miraculous recovery. She exercised after the amputation and was soon able to walk on a prosthetic leg. Her other fractures became merely scars.
Daughter Barbara said a positive approach to life helped her mum overcome the trauma: "When asked whether she would like to have a plastic surgery on her forehead, she replied: ‘I’ll just grow a fringe.’ And when social workers claimed she needed to set up an aim that would keep her motivated during the recovery, Gladys said: ‘I just want to do everything I did before."Gladys’ family has decided to fundraise for London’s Air Ambulance . "It’s an amazing service and we were surprised to find out that it is run as a charity. We will have a collection pot at mum’s 90th birthday party instead of presents," says Barbara.