Horrific crash spawns air ambulance campaign from Newport parents

An horrific crash that left a 20-year-old fighting for her life has spawned a campaign to get more doctors onto air ambulances.

Ruth Thomas, 20, was in a car crash with a van coming in the opposite direction along the southern border of the Lake District National Park.

The former Burton Borough and Newport Girls High student was left fighting for her life after the crash on the evening of July 12, and was rushed to Royal Preston Hospital by Great North Air Ambulance.

Three hours away, in Newport, her mother and father were getting the knock on the door that every parent dreads.

Lee Thomas, who is a policeman with West Mercia Police, instantly recognised his colleagues.

"It is the horror I wouldn't wish on any parent," he said.

"The knock on the door on the night from my own colleagues to break the terrible news, followed by a frantic drive up the M6 to Preston, not knowing if Ruth would still be alive by the time we got there, and then not knowing if she would survive the night."

Ruth, who is a Zoology student at the University of Cumbria in Carlisle, was in a medically induced coma for two weeks to allow the eight fractures in her pelvis to begin to heal.

Now she is continuing to heal in Newport.


Her injuries have spurred her family into a new campaign to ensure there is a doctor on every Air Ambulance mission across the country.

So far they have raised £3,000 for Great North Air Ambulance and intend to keep campaigning.

"Ruth's life was saved because the Great North Air Ambulance has a doctor on board as part of every mission," Mr Thomas said.

"All air ambulance services in the UK are aiming to achieve the same but not all are there yet. Doctors can carry out far more intrusive actions and procedures than even the best critical care paramedics on the helicopters are allowed which means patients have a far better chance of both surviving and of having a better recovery along the line.

"I never fail to be amazed at the skill and determination of our 999 teams, especially the medical staff who just won't give up. Without their efforts God knows where we would be."

Date: 16 November 2018 | Source: Shropshire Star

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