Car crash victim thanks GNAAS crew for saving her life

A HOSPITAL radiographer who was involved in a serious car crash has personally thanked the crew from the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) which saved her life.

Laura Reid, 25, from Hartlepool, was driving to work when she came off the road and hit a tree in September 2014.

The roof of her vehicle had to be cut off in order for her to be freed and she suffered serious chest injuries including seven fractured ribs and a punctured lung.

The GNAAS doctor-led trauma team gave Miss Reid advanced care on the roadside before airlifting her to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

Miss Reid remained there for ten days, seven of which were spent in the high dependency unit where doctors could closely monitor her condition.

About a year after the accident, Miss Reid, a diagnostic radiographer at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, was suffering from chest pains after a session at the gym.

She had a scan at James Cook and found that her heart was massively enlarged and she had an atrial septal defect, commonly known as a hole in the heart.

She said: “It was too big to leave so I went to Freeman Hospital in Newcastle where I had open heart surgery. I felt brilliantly afterwards.”

Miss Reid then decided to challenge herself in 2017 by taking on the Great North Run to raise funds for GNAAS.

Before the race she said: “GNAAS saved my life, they are an incredible service and this is my way of paying them back, whilst ticking something off my bucket list.”

Miss Reid successfully completed the Great North Run in September and raised £529 for GNAAS which she handed over during a recent visit at their air base. She met pilot Jay Steward and paramedic Colin Clark who treated her on the day of her accident.

She said: “It’s been great meeting the crew and putting faces to their names.

“GNAAS are an incredible charity and I hope to increase my training so I can complete the Great North Run in a better time next year.”

Colin Clark said: “It was lovely to meet Laura again, under better circumstances, at our base at Durham Tees Valley Airport. To have overcome such hurdles and then take on such a gruelling physical challenge speaks volumes about her extraordinary character. We really appreciate her support.”

If you would like to join Team GNAAS for the Great North Run in 2018, get your place here.

GNAAS also need volunteers to be part of the ground crew during the day. For more information and to sign up, click here. 

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