Mother seriously injured in crash thanks GNAAS doctor for saving her life

A MOTHER who was involved in a serious car crash with her family has personally thanked the doctor from the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) who saved her life.

Laura Shaw, 35, from Kirk Merrington, County Durham, was travelling to Wynyard Hall with her husband and two children to go ice-skating when they were involved in a collision with another car on December 3 2017.

Recalling the incident, Mrs Shaw said the family were travelling at around 30mph when the incident happened at Chilton. She added: “I remember my husband and my son getting out of the car and me just not being able to move and being in a lot of pain. I could hear my daughter at the back of the car in quite a lot of pain.”

Mrs Shaw had sustained 11 fractures in total which included broken ribs, a fracture in her spine, a fracture in her shoulder, two broken wrists, a broken thumb in three places and a haematoma in her stomach, which is a collection of blood outside of a blood vessel.

She was cut free from her car by firefighters and treated by GNAAS before being flown to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, while the rest of the family were taken to the Darlington Memorial Hospital by land ambulance.

Mrs Shaw’s husband Matthew, and her son Jack only had cuts and bruises, however her daughter Tallulah had sustained a perforated bowel, a fracture in her spine, a ruptured spleen, and three hematomas in her stomach, and was transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle for an emergency operation.

After ten days in James Cook, Mrs Shaw was transferred to the RVI so she could spend time with her daughter, and they were both released from hospital on December 18.

Mrs Shaw said: “It wasn’t the best Christmas, but the main thing was we were all there together as a family instead of being stuck in hospital.

“We’re doing pretty good, and the consultants are happy with us and absolutely amazed at how we’re walking around and getting about.”

Mrs Shaw and her children recently visited the GNAAS base at Durham Tees Valley Airport and met Dr Jo Paterson who treated her.

Mrs Shaw said: “I want to say a massive thank you to GNAAS because on that day they saved my life. That’s how I look at it, and a big thank you to Jo the doctor that was there at the time. She was amazing.”

Since the incident, friends and family as well as trustees and staff from County Durham-based charity Supportive have collectively raised £694.88 for GNAAS.

GNAAS is funded entirely by donations. Last year, it needed to raise £5.1m to survive. To find out how you can help, please visit or call 01325-487263.

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