It never crossed Doris’ mind, as she was enjoying festive celebrations with her family, that this might be her last Christmas. As damaged as the car she was cut out of on New Year’s Day looks, it does not reflect the severity of her injuries. “I broke my neck in two places and suffered internal injuries but what almost killed me was the severe bleeding into my abdomen.”
As Doris bled internally, her vital organs started to gradually fail. Her lungs collapsed first and with every passing minute her heart could have stopped.
“I was so close to death that no one believed I would survive the journey to the hospital. London’s Air Ambulance was by my side in minutes. They gave me a blood transfusion – right there in the street. Then they had to cut holes under my arms to re-inflate my lungs and keep me breathing. Yet another unit of blood kept my heart beating but the team knew it might shut down at any moment.”
“The doctor and paramedic from London’s Air Ambulance got in the road ambulance with me and we headed towards St Mary’s hospital. Had my heart stopped on the way, they were prepared to pull off by the side of the road and immediately perform open heart surgery to keep me alive."
"I later found out that London’s Air Ambulance is the only service in London that can perform this procedure outside hospital.”
When Doris woke up following several operations and a week’s coma, the hospital staff gathered by her bed.
" They had watched me entering the theatre and did not expect me to come out alive."
For 22 years, Doris has been a customer service clerk at one of UK’s most popular high street banks. Chances are she might have answered the phone when you had a question about your latest transaction or needed to change your internet banking password. Here is a message from Doris (now retired) to all our supporters:
“Thank you for helping to save my life. I would have died on the road on New Year’s Day if it wasn’t for London’s Air Ambulance and all those who support this charity.”