Sheila's thanks to air ambulance crew

By Jonathan BarnesSHE admits to hating flying, but Sheila Garrard was extremely grateful for a trip in the East Anglian air ambulance.The 54-year-old feared the worst when she was involved in a terrifying head-on accident on the A143 near her home village of Wattisfield, near Diss, in February.

By Jonathan Barnes

SHE admits to hating flying, but Sheila Garrard was extremely grateful for a trip in the East Anglian air ambulance.

The 54-year-old feared the worst when she was involved in a terrifying head-on accident on the A143 near her home village of Wattisfield, near Diss, in February.

But Ms Garrard, a kitchen assistant at Walsham-le-Willows Primary School, was cut free from her car by firefighters and within eight minutes was receiving expert treatment at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.


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That was thanks to a rapid trip in Anglia One, the East Anglian air ambulance, with pilot Simon Coxson and paramedics Martin Bunn and Dave Grover.

"I don't like flying at all and it was my first time in a helicopter," she said. "I find them very noisy, but the crew put headphones on me and kept me talking. The care I was given was fantastic.

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"I was trapped in the car for some time. It was very scary for me, but the air ambulance came along and they were brilliant. It was a very quick, very efficient service."

She suffered a fractured foot in the accident, for which she still has treatment, but knows she was lucky not to have suffered more serious injuries and to have got such excellent treatment.

Ms Garrard and her partner, Ron Peck, are keen to repay their personal debt to the air ambulance and have started raising money for the vital service.

She said they would like to help pay for a helicopter landing pad at West Suffolk Hospital to make the job easier for the paramedics.

"They have to land on the heath near the hospital and, as it was a wet day, they struggled a bit to push the stretcher," said Mrs Garrard.

"I remember them saying they wished there was a landing pad at the hospital, so we thought that could be a way to help. I would like to do something for them after what they did for me."

jonathan.barnes@eadt.co.uk

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