Car crash victim praises air ambulance

Stephanie Wilkinson in hospital.
Stephanie Wilkinson in hospital.

A woman who required a roadside blood transfusion after being seriously injured in a car crash will feature in a national documentary following the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

Stephanie Wilkinson spent two months in hospital and had much of her left side rebuilt with metal plates, bolts and nails after the accident on the A697 last September.

Her story will be featured in Emergency Helicopter Medics, the More4 series which follows the work of GNAAS last summer, on Sunday, June 10, at 9pm.

Stephanie, 21, from Whittingham, was travelling with her boyfriend to the Metrocentre when their car collided with another vehicle. She suffered significant injuries, including internal bleeding.

GNAAS doctor Jo Paterson carried out a roadside blood transfusion, supported by GNAAS paramedic Andy Dalton and North East Ambulance Service road crew. She was then airlifted to the RVI in Newcastle.

Stephanie said: “GNAAS came and I remember doctor Jo keeping me calm when I was trapped in the car.

“I’d never broken a bone in my life, and then my whole left side was smashed. I broke my pelvis, my breast bone, had a lacerated liver, my spleen was swollen, I punctured my left lung, the top of my arm was broken, a few fingers were broken, and the most serious injury was the bottom of my leg where the bone had come through my skin and shattered in half. My boyfriend just had a scratch.”

She wasn’t allowed to walk on her left leg for six months, but after several surgeries she is now able to use crutches and uses a wheelchair for longer distances.

Talking about GNAAS, she said: “I wouldn’t have made it to hospital by road. They were really quick and I owe it to them. They are a great service and everyone should fund-raise more for them, they are under-appreciated, until something bad happens, people don’t understand how much they need them.”

Stephanie will be one of the guests at the charity’s annual Air Angels Ball which takes place on June 16, at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead. For tickets, visit www.gnaas.com or call 01325 487263.