Sandra watched her 12-year-old daughter step in front of a bus. She was shaking and screaming as every parent´s worst nightmare was unfolding in front of her. “There was a bang and Caitlin fell to the ground. I thought the worst had happened,” says Sandra.
Sandra was on a school run, giving her daughters a lift from their school in Bexley. She was sitting in a car with an unobstructed view of the school’s exit and the main road Caitlin was to cross. Caitlin´s older sister, 17-year-old Hayley was already tucked in the passenger seat next to her.
“I was so shaken that I initially could not leave the car. It was Hayley who immediately run to Caitlin’s side. She never left, even when the emergency services arrived, and held her sister’s hand throughout,” says Sandra.
A paramedic from the London Ambulance Service told me that Caitlin had had a head injury. When I heard the helicopter I thought – it must be really serious.
The helicopter landed at the school´s playground and the doctor decided to fly Caitlin to the hospital. There was not enough space for me in the helicopter but she wouldn’t let go of my hand. ‘Mummy, mummy, I want you. I want to be with you,’ she was screaming. What do you do? I assured her I would be there and immediately headed off to the hospital in a car with the MET Police.”
“I have three daughters. I have never been the kind of parent who constantly worries that they might get hit by a car or that something could happen to them. I never ever dreamt London’s Air Ambulance was a service we would need. You never think it will happen to you but when it does, you realise how important London’s Air Ambulance is. The charity is invaluable.”
“The children from Caitlin’s school saw the helicopter land and their response was humbling. They wrote a letter to London’s Air Ambulance asking how much a helicopter mission costs and decided to raise the equivalent – some £3,500. Caitlin’s friends went to their local churches and explained what had happened – you could almost say they went there with a fundraising bucket. One of the boys did a fundraising bike ride, there was a sponsored sleep over and countless bake sales. In the end, they beat their target and raised almost £5,000.” More about the fundraising at Trinity Church of England School in Bexley.
“It hit home to me that, as Londoners, we should do what we can to keep London’s Air Ambulance flying and help the charity get a second helicopter. Every time I hear on the radio that there has been an accident, I think about the traffic and can’t help wondering whether London has a helicopter available.”