THE last time Beverly Richardson encountered air ambulance paramedics, she was fighting for her life with severe head, chest and internal injuries.

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This week, it was in much happier circumstances that the 70-year-old from Sudbury was reunited with the team who played such a significant part in her survival.

Last April, the car Mrs Richardson was driving was in collision with an ambulance on its way to a 999 call. She sustained injuries including lacerations to the scalp, bleeding in the brain, a broken collarbone and shoulder blade, seven fractured ribs, a burst lung and a lacerated liver.

She had to be airlifted from the scene, in Melford Road, Sudbury, to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge where she was kept in an induced coma for three weeks and eventually spent two months recuperating.

Mrs Richardson’s subsequent recovery has been described as “miraculous”, and she has always believed the East Anglian Air Ambulance service’s flying doctors saved her life.

Now, ten months after her ordeal, she has been able to thank paramedic John McCusker and his team in person. She met them at North Weald airfield after ambulance service fundraising manager Catherine Sheppard helped track down the life-saving paramedics in Hertfordshire.

Mr McCusker told Mrs Richardson how the team had worked on her for about 20 minutes on the ground before making the 10-minute flight to the outskirts of Cambridge, where she was transferred to a waiting ambulance. He said: “When the call came in for Beverly’s accident we were closer to her than the Norwich helicopter, so we flew to Sudbury.”

He added: “It’s great to see her looking a lot better than she did last time we saw her.”

Mrs Richardson said she had no memories of the events that took place after the crash, adding: “Everything was wiped out by the accident so it is nice to be able to fill in some of the gaps with information from someone who was actually there.

“I’m not that keen on flying and have only been in a helicopter once. I still have absolutely no memory of flying on this one – and I’m in no hurry to repeat the experience.”

Since her accident Mrs Richarson and her family have raised more than £5,000 for the air ambulance. Some funds from Sudbury Rotary Christmas Tree Festival were also donated to the charity this year.

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