A WOMAN who was told she may never walk again after a motorbike crash has shared the remarkable story of how she rebuilt her life.
Claire King, 43, from Wetherby, suffered life-threatening head and pelvic injuries when she came off her motorbike while riding on the A171 near Whitby in 2003.
After swerving to avoid another vehicle that had strayed onto her side of the road, she was thrown from the bike onto the road, into the path of oncoming traffic. She rolled under a van where she became trapped, suffering from an open fracture to her femur as well as a fractured pelvis and severe head injuries.
A fire crew from Whitby freed Mrs King while a passing group of soldiers from the Green Howards regiment also helped out. The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) flew in, bringing expert medical care to the scene before flying her to hospital in Scarborough, where her life hung in the balance.
But thanks to the swift intervention of the emergency services and the specialist care she received in hospital, Mrs King was able to begin her recovery.
Speaking this week, the mother-of-two said: “I was told that due to the nature of my injuries and the blood I lost at the scene, I would not have made it to hospital by road. I cannot remember the accident or being in the aircraft.
“My mother was informed I was unlikely to walk unaided again but I beat the odds, a blood clot, the femur and the fractured pelvis and ten years later I have a seven-year-old daughter who I carried all the way through pregnancy and delivered naturally. I owe my life to the service.”
Mandy Drake, head of fundraising at GNAAS, said: “It’s great to see how well Claire has recovered considering her injuries. This year is the twentieth anniversary of air ambulances in the North-East and Claire is a shining example of just how important this charity-funded service is to the entire region.”
Mrs King may have spent nearly four years regaining her fitness and learning to walk again but that experience has not completely tamed her wild side.
“I race cars now,” she said. “Though I stay away from motorbikes.”
For more information about GNAAS, which operates three helicopter air ambulances across North Yorkshire, the North-East and Cumbria, visit www.greatnorthairambulance.co.uk or call 01325-487263.