A WOMAN has looked back at her mother’s rescue 18 years on, as she continues to support the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) which took her to hospital.
Lauren Hessey was just eight-years-old when her mother, Carrol, suffered life-threatening injuries when she was hit by a van as she stepped out into the road in Longframlington, Northumberland, to wave at her youngest daughter, Rachael, then four, on the school bus.
Miss Hessey, 27, originally from the village but who now lives in Nottingham, said: “This was before mobiles so someone ran to a house to call the emergency services while others tried to stop her losing consciousness. The air ambulance was at the scene within about 15 minutes.
“She had multiple leg breaks and lost several pints of blood. She was in a really bad way.
“I remember going to the hospital to see her and she was covered in wires. I wiped the blood off her hands as it hadn’t been cleaned up yet.
“When you’re young you don’t really know what it all means. You have a coping mechanism.”
Welsh-born Ms Hessey, 61, moved to Longframlington in 1987, where she worked at the local library before Northumberland County Council as a senior business support assistant.
She was treated at the roadside by the GNAAS trauma team and flown to Wansbeck General Hospital, where she went on to have her legs rebuilt with metal plates and pins.
Miss Hessey, a teacher at Nottingham Academy, said: “If GNAAS hadn’t been there it might have been a different story. They saved my mum’s life.
“She went for a scan last week and it reminded me that it’s 18 years on from the accident and what an impact it has had on me and my family.
“All those years were made possible because of the response of that air ambulance team. My sister and I have been able to have a mum who supported and loved us, and we are so lucky as that accident could have been fatal. She is a very determined person and never gave up.
“I have never forgotten the reason why my mum is still here and have always tried to do my bit to support the charity.”
After graduating from Leeds Metropolitan University, Miss Hessey auctioned off artwork to raise £500. She also tackled last year’s Great North Run and now pays monthly towards the GNAAS’ life-saving missions. Ms Hessey has abseiled for the charity and made a cross-stitch of the air ambulance to make part of a tapestry to celebrate the Millennium which can still be seen at the village Hall.
Speaking of the support they received from the local community, she said: “When it happened, there were so many people there for her
“Our neighbours looked after me and Rachael while mum was in hospital and took us to see her every day after school. The owner of the village shop used to bring her weekly shopping and the butcher taught me how to ride a bike. We’ll always be grateful to everyone who helped us.”
Dr Dave Bramley, from GNAAS, said: “A tale like this one shows the everlasting impact which GNAAS has on people’s lives. It is an honour to carry out the work that we do and without this kind of support, we would not be able to stay in the air. We are indebted to them.”