Charlie's Story

My name is Charlotte. I would like to share my story with you - a story I may not have been able to tell if it hadn’t been for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance, and all those who support it.

I was cycling down a quiet residential road on my way home from work, as I did every day, but I could never have imagined just how different this journey would be.

A pedestrian suddenly stepped out in front of me without looking and I reacted by braking sharply. I went over the handlebars of my bike and seconds later, I was in excruciating pain and could see blood gushing from my upper leg.

Some nearby builders rushed over and phoned for help. There suddenly seemed to be so much going on. Surrounded by police and ambulance crew, I didn’t know the severity of my situation and I wasn’t aware of how much blood I was losing. It was only when I saw the air ambulance that I started to panic that I might lose my leg, or worse. I started thinking about my two amazing children. I later learned that I had impaled my leg on the handlebar of my bike, severing my femoral vein – one of the body’s major blood vessels.

The air ambulance doctor, Marwa, and paramedic, Ben, arrived and assessed my condition. They packed the inside of the wound with a gauze dressing specifically designed to help seal the wound. They placed a compression bandage around my pelvis, again to help stop the bleeding.  I was suffering from haemorrhagic shock – my body had lost so much blood that it didn’t have enough oxygen to meet its basic needs. I was therefore given vital plasma and blood transfusions to help replace what I had lost. They ensured that I was stable enough for transport and I was then flown to the major trauma centre at St George’s Hospital in around two minutes - a journey I may not have survived in rush hour traffic. Dr Marwa held my hand and smiled at me throughout the whole flight - I will never forget her face, and how kind and reassuring she was.

On arrival at St George’s Hospital I was given a CT scan, and had five hours of emergency surgery to repair the damaged vein and stop the bleeding. The crew of the air ambulance brought A&E directly to my side and carried out interventions, at the scene, that saved my life. I know that my chances of survival would have been hugely reduced without the work of this amazing charity.

As a mum, hobbies are precious and running is something that I love. Due to the severity of my injury, I never thought I’d be able to run again. Now, I am back on the road and more determined than ever to rebuild my strength so that I can take part in challenge events to fundraise for this amazing charity.
No words can really describe how eternally grateful I am to the crew that day – they were amazing and I owe my life to them. But I also owe my life to you – the person who helped to ensure that this charity could be there when I needed them.

Please do a little extra to help the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance continue its vital work. By purchasing or selling  Win a BMW tickets, you will be making such a difference. I have no doubt that your support today will help to keep another family, like mine, together tomorrow.
Thank you.

Kye Sharrad

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