A FEMALE cyclist has thanked the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) for its help after a collision with a car left her with a catalogue of serious injuries.
Karen Bell, 39, from Whitehaven, was cycling home from work when the incident happened on the A595 near Bigrigg on August 25, 2017.
Miss Bell sustained lacerations to her neck, left ear and fingers, a bleed on the brain, a fractured cheek bone, double vision, a punctured lung, a fractured T11 vertebrae and fractured ribs.
She was assessed and treated by the GNAAS paramedic and doctor team before being airlifted to the Royal Preston Hospital, where she spent 10 days in the trauma ward before being discharged home.
Miss Bell said: “I’m quite active so it’s been hard taking the time to let everything heal.
“When I think I’m getting better I’ve been getting setbacks. I dislocated my shoulder, and it is borderline that I might need surgery. My recovery is slow, but my partner has been with me since day one and he says that I’ve come on massively.
“Where we live, we’re so far away from good hospitals and care, so GNAAS are a valuable service to us.”
Miss Bell is a member of a local club in Whitehaven called Team XIII Cycling and was already well aware of GNAAS before she required the charity’s help.
She said: “One of the lads in the cycling club was airlifted last year by GNAAS and now I’ve used their services.
“It probably would have taken hours to get to Preston in an ambulance, so it’s important that we continue to have GNAAS, as they can provide the service and care which we need within easy reach.”
Miss Bell still has a long road to recovery, but she hopes to get back on her bike soon so she can rejoin her friends at the cycling club.
Last year GNAAS responded to 1042 call-outs and needed to raise £5.1m. To find out how you can help, please visit www.gnaas.com or call 01325-487263.