Green-fingered grandmother raises £5,000 for GNAAS after they rescued her

A green-fingered grandmother has raised £5,000 from selling plants to cover the cost of an air ambulance call-out after she needed to be rescued following a car collision.

Lyn Murray, 73, from Haltwhistle, said: “I spend 50% of my life gardening so I might as well use my hobby to help somebody.”

The money raised has been donated to the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) which airlifted Mrs Murray following a collision on B6318 near Chesters Roman Fort in 2013.

She said: “There was a farmer in a field nearby who didn’t see the crash but heard it and then saw something fly through the air.

“He said it looked like either clothes or a person so it must have been me. He called 999 and said I was breathing funny and put me in the recovery position until someone came.”

Mrs Murray’s vehicle had left the road and overturned, leaving her with multiple serious injuries.

The critical care team from GNAAS flew to the scene and assessed and treated the grandmother-of-six before airlifting her to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, where she spent three weeks recovering.

During the pandemic, Mrs Murray decided to sell plants from her allotment to raise money for GNAAS, and she’s now donated £5,000 to the charity, which is the average cost of a call-out.

She said: “A neighbour put up a polytunnel for me and another lady. I was wondering what I was going to do with it. Then it just came to me that I should grow plants for GNAAS.

“I’m really pleased and extremely grateful for all the support I have been given by local people. Free plants, free pots, free seeds, free compost bins, even a free garden chair in vivid pink.”

In 2021 Mrs Murray visited GNAAS’ base in Langwathby, Penrith, and was reunited with paramedic Terry Sharpe who treated her on scene ten years ago.

Speaking at the time, Mr Sharpe said: “It was lovely to meet Lyn and her family at our base and find out how she’s doing years later. We are all very grateful for her fundraising efforts as this will help us continue to operate across the region and provide critical care to those who are ill or injured.”

Mrs Murray added: “I was brought up to thank people if they helped. GNAAS not only helped me, they saved my life. I can’t walk, run or cycle very far at my age, but I can look after plants, so it was an obvious way to repay them.”

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