A TEENAGER who survived a horrific car crash has thanked the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) for saving her life.
Sarah Dent, 18, from Middleton-in-Teesdale, was driving along the B6282 at Laneside, when her car unexpectedly skidded across the road, causing her to crash into an oncoming vehicle on May 15.
Miss Dent, who cannot recall the incident, said: “It rained a couple of times that day and the roads were really slippy.
“I think I must have skidded on the road which caused my car to spiral out of control and then collide with another car.”
Miss Dent had to be cut free from the wreckage of the car by firefighters. She sustained a fractured skull, bleeding in the brain, a broken neck, a ruptured diaphragm, a fractured pelvis, and air and blood in her left lung.
She was anaesthetised and treated on scene by the GNAAS paramedic and doctor team before being flown to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
Miss Dent said: “When I woke up in hospital, the first thing I asked was, how much would it cost to repair the damage on my car, but obviously it was a write-off.”
The former Teesdale School Sixth Form student spent a month in hospital and initially required crutches to aid her when walking. Her recovery has confounded the expectations of medics however, and now only needs to attend physio every couple of weeks.
Miss Dent and her family were recently reunited with the medics who helped her when she visited them at the GNAAS air base in Langwathby.
She said: “It’s been nice to meet the crew and I couldn’t be more grateful for their help. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here.”
Dr Theo Weston added: “Sarah needed medical intervention quickly, and at the time there was a fear that she wouldn’t make it.
“I’m amazed to see Sarah looking so well. Being able to meet former patients such as her under better circumstances, is one of the most rewarding parts of the job.”
Miss Dent only passed her driving test a month before the accident, but she’s determined not to let this traumatic experience stop her from getting back behind the wheel.
She said: “This hasn’t put me off driving. I’m actually looking forward to getting a new car and being on the road again.”
Sarah’s father Philip Dent, 45, is involved in the Marwood Shoot Syndicate, and this year they kindly donated a day’s shooting as an auction prize at the Beanfield Ball, which raised £4,200 for GNAAS.
GNAAS relies on public donations and needs to raise around £5m every year to keep its service running. To find out how you can help, please visit www.gnaas.com.