Zoe and family
Zoe was eight months pregnant with twins when she was involved in a road traffic collision with her family. “To see a car lose control in front of you, knowing there is nothing you can do about it… on impact I had haemorrhaged and my waters had broken. My focus was on my two boys sitting in the back of the car, but I knew I hadn’t felt any movement from the babies.” Zoe tells her story in a letter that she admits took months to write: “I sat there many an evening absolutely sobbing. It still gives me goose bumps.”
That day my perspective on life changed. From going about my day as usual on an ordinary trip out with the family. To the shock and horror of being involved in a horrific car accident…
My husband Wayne and I managed to get out of the vehicle and got our two boys out. We were all relatively unscathed considering and only had minor injuries. All except for me, I was 30 weeks pregnant with twins. After both calling 999, on instinct I phoned my parents, as we needed help with the boys as on impact I had haemorrhaged and my waters had broken. My focus was on my boys but I knew I hadn’t felt any movement from the babies.
The ambulance and fire services arrived quickly and so did family members to help. I was aware of London’s Air Ambulance arriving, as I kept telling the boys not to worry, as it was like fireman Sam in his rescue helicopter. Once I knew my boys were ok and safe, I could focus on myself. We were all in complete shock and I kept praying that everything would be alright. Initially everything seemed really chaotic around me.
I was put in an ambulance to be made more comfortable and the doctor and paramedic from London’s Air Ambulance took over my care. It was decided I would be airlifted to The Royal London Hospital. I now know that this only takes six to nine minutes to get there. I was taken to a helicopter – London’s one and only bright red air ambulance.
The doctor and paramedic from London’s Air Ambulance just made me feel at ease, they kept re-assuring me, telling me everything that was going on and the paramedic held my hand all the way [the photo on the left was taken on the day of Zoe's accident and captures the moment she is referring to]. Wayne went with the boys and my mum. On arrival at the hospital I was assessed by the trauma team, it seemed crazy, there were so many people doing different things. I was so distressed and all I wanted to know was, were my babies alive.
After what seemed like an eternity I was scanned, they immediately found one heartbeat, and after several minutes they found the other. At this point I completely broke down with relief, but I knew I wasn’t out of the woods yet. I was informed that Wayne and the boys had been brought by ambulance to the same hospital and were being assessed and were all doing ok.
I am so grateful for all the care and assistance my family and I received that day, and the on-going care and support we received from others. However, with the roadside care, quick response and god’s way I made it through the next 72 hours without going into premature labour. In fact with a huge amount of ongoing care and support, I made it to 36 weeks and gave birth to two healthy baby boys.
I made a promise that day, that when I was ready I would do something to raise awareness and funds for the London’s Air Ambulance charity. I have been fulfilling my promise since, abseiling off the charity's helipad, running a half marathon and talking about my story to politicians at the charity’s reception at No. 11 Downing Street.
Very sadly the young couple in the other vehicle were not so lucky that day. My heart still goes out to their loved ones for their loss, so this is also in their memory.
Nearly four and a half years on, life is pretty much back to normal, if life can ever be normal with four young boys. It has been a tough journey, an emotional rollercoaster, but we are all doing well now and cherish every day.
This is a great cause, which is very personal to my family and me. I cannot explain what it means to me to support London’s Air Ambulance and be able to give others the same chance my family has had. Please help in any way you can. Accidents happen. We were in the wrong place, at the wrong time. I would get in a car every day, traveling the very same road for many years prior and I never gave it a second thought. Life changed that day.
Thank you to everyone who supports London's Air Ambulance.