Bethany's Story



My name is Bethany and this is my story. The Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance helps the most critically ill and injured people in our region. We all go through life hoping that we’ll never be in need of their life-saving care, but they are always ready to help us if we need them. It is because of this charity that I am here today, and able to share my experience with you.

Standing up on the grass verge by the hard shoulder of the motorway, I watched recovery workers attend to my broken down vehicle. I was tired, cold and stranded. I could never have imagined how my day could get any worse, but at least I was out of harm’s way. Or so I thought.

Out of nowhere I heard a deafening crash. As I turned to see what had happened, I was faced with the horrifying sight of a car hurtling towards me at high speed. My first reaction was complete disbelief - how could this be possible? I was just 23 with so much life ahead of me and with so many things left to achieve. I remember thinking - how can I survive this? I did attempt to move but I just didn’t have time. The car hit me and the force of the impact threw me 30 feet into the air. I collided with a tree and was knocked unconscious.

I came around some time later and realised that due to the severity of my injuries, the air ambulance had been dispatched.  The expert crew assessed my injuries, sedated me and administered pain relief.
The crew quickly determined that I had sustained severe pelvic injuries, and knew that they had to act fast to avoid further complications. Pelvic injuries can have devastating consequences because they can cause massive internal bleeding.

Thanks to the expertise of the Doctor and Paramedic, they were able to manipulate my hip back in to its socket - a procedure that is normally only carried out in hospital. To reduce further damage, they then secured my pelvis with a splint to keep it as still as possible.

I was airlifted to King’s College Hospital’s major trauma centre, where I received specialist treatment by dedicated pelvic surgeons. The journey in the helicopter took a fraction of the time it would have taken by road and the smooth flight meant I was at less risk of suffering internal bleeding. I feel so fortunate that the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance not only brought A&E to me, but minimised the time it took me to reach the hospital that could best care for my injuries.

It still seems like a miracle to me that I survived such a horrific accident. I am alive, back at work, and have since got engaged. Thanks to the treatment I received at the roadside and the swift journey to hospital, I defied the odds.

When I think back to how I felt at the roadside watching the car coming towards me, I really did believe that my life was over. I couldn’t imagine how I would survive, or recover from my injuries. This amazing charity has allowed me a future, something I so easily could have lost when that car hit me.
I will never be able to thank the crew enough for what they did for me that day, and now I realise that I must thank you too. It is only through the support of people like you that they can continue their life-saving work and give others, like me, a future.

Please support this life-saving charity by buying or selling the enclosed raffle tickets this Christmas. It really will make such a difference. With such fantastic prizes available, you could be a winner. But the real winners are the people whose lives are saved - people like me.

Your support will help to ensure that this vital service is available to all those who need it throughout Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

Thank you.



Keith Harlow

“…flown to King’s College Hospital in London. This transfer took 14 minutes, a journey that would have taken more than an hour by road.”

Grandfather of three, Keith Harlow, could...

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