Sudbury: Road accident victim aims to repay life-saving air medics

ASK traffic accident casualty Beverly Richardson about the importance of the East Anglian Air Ambulance service and she is in no doubt as to the vital role it plays.

Beverly, who was released from hospital on June 20 after almost two months in care, believes her life was saved by the flying doctors.

They transported her by air to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, after her car was involved in a collision with an ambulance as she turned into the drive of her home in Melford Road, Sudbury, on the evening of Tuesday, April 24.

The impact shunted her car more than 200ft down the road into a electricity pole and left her with a nightmare list of critical injuries including severe lacerations to the scalp, bleeding in the brain, a broken collarbone and shoulder blade, seven fractured ribs, a burst lung and a lacerated liver.

Realising the seriousness of the situation, the paramedics who had been involved in the collision called for the air ambulance, which soon after landed on Beverly’s lawn. She was treated at the scene before being air-lifted out.

The accident happened at about 6.15pm and in just over an hour she was in the neuro-critical care Unit at Addenbrooke’s.

“I remember nothing about the accident or the following weeks as I was in a coma but a number of doctors have said since that without that initial speed of response I would have had little chance of making the recovery I have,” said Beverley, a Synod secretary for the East Anglian District Methodist Church, who celebrates her 70th birthday next week.

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“I know all about the good work the air ambulance does because I’m addicted to the medical response programmes shown on television but I never thought I’d ever need them.

“They got me to hospital literally in minutes and without them I wouldn’t be here.”

Obviously relieved to be back home after a hugely testing time for her and her husband Philip and family and friends, Beverly intends to try to repay the air ambulance service by raising much-needed funds. She has sent out an e-mail to the more than 200 well-wishers who sent cards during her time in hospital requesting that instead of buying her birthday presents next week they make a donation to the East of England Air Ambulance.

The East Anglian Daily Times is also supporting the cause through our Lifesaver Appeal.

The Richardsons also intend to make a sizeable contribution and hope to collect �6,000 in total – roughly the cost of two air ambulance call-outs.

“Birthday presents seem inappropriate at this time and we feel that helping the air ambulance is our way of saying a huge thank you,” added Beverley.

A spokeswoman for the East of England Air Ambulance said Beverly’s case demonstrated how crucial the service is.

She added: “The ability to bring a doctor to the scene within minutes and to get people to hospital as quickly as possible can often make the difference in serious cases.

“We are extremely happy to hear Beverly is making a good recovery and thank her and her family for their fundraising efforts.”

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