Whenever Agata sees London’s distinctive red air ambulance helicopter in the skies, her emotions are torn. Part of her worries as she realises something terrible has happened.
“But I also know that the patient will be in safe hands,” she said.
Agata knows this because in May this year, she was the patient.
The 41-year-old was on her way home from work. She was on her bike and had stopped at a red light in Clerkenwell. A taxi knocked her off her bike and then ran over her.
She said: “I can remember the pain. I can remember being on the ground and then being under the car and the wheel going over my chest.”
She had broken her leg and her ribs and was struggling to breathe. A doctor and paramedic from London’s Air Ambulance together with LAS paramedics treated her at the scene before she was taken to The Royal London Hospital.
She said: “I didn’t even realise I had broken my leg because my chest was hurting so much. I had problems with my lungs and needed a machine to help me breathe but I got the best treatment I could have wished for.”
Agata was kept in the High Dependency Unit at The Royal London Hospital for two weeks. And it was almost another week before she was discharged and allowed to return home.
Her family had flown from Italy to be at her bedside in hospital and the round the clock care from friends and family continued when she got home.
She said: “They have been amazing – always smiling. They are still helping me because I still have a lot to process and I have not fully recovered yet.”
Throughout her ordeal, Agata has remained positive about the future.
She said: “If you put life into perspective, I’ve got nothing to complain about. I feel lucky – the accident could happen to anyone but I feel lucky that I will make a full recovery.
“Occasionally I did feel down at hospital but the nurses really helped me to overcome that. They explained what was happening to me and that really made a difference. I’ve never felt depressed about it.”
The civil engineer returned to her job a few months ago and is hoping she will be able to get back on a bike soon.
She said: “I want to run, I want to cycle, I don’t want to be afraid. I want to be even fitter than before.”
She feels she owes her zest for life to London’s Air Ambulance.
“I can’t express in words how good the charity is. The care they give is incredible. They gave me back a new life.”