Karen Hallett, from Boston in Lincolnshire, was involved in a road accident in spring 2014. The accident took place near Horncastle, in a very rural area. Karen, who was driving, lost control of her car and ended up in a ditch. A passer-by stopped and called paramedics, who found Karen struggling to breathe as she was being strangled by her seatbelt.
‘I was still conscious when the ambulance arrived but I don’t remember much about the accident or being cut out of my car. The paramedics called the air ambulance straightaway when they realised how serious my injuries were. Given the location of the accident – right in the middle of nowhere – the helicopter was a godsend in terms of getting me to hospital fast enough to have a fighting chance of survival.’
Karen’s neck was broken in the accident, along with her leg and several ribs and vertebrae. On arrival at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, Karen’s injuries were assessed and staff found that she was unable to maintain her oxygen levels. She was put in an induced coma and stayed in Intensive Care for 10 days. Once her condition stabilised, Karen was moved to the Major Trauma Unit at C30, where she stayed for over four weeks before being discharged.
Speaking in August 2014, Karen says her recovery is going well. ‘I’ve just had a review at the QMC and my neck collar has come off now. I’m still waiting for the broken leg to heal, which will take a few more weeks. But I’m now in a plastic boot instead of a cast, so at least I can get around a bit more easily.’
‘When I think about it, it’s amazing how far my recovery has come in the last few months. I have absolutely no doubt that if I hadn’t been transferred to the Major Trauma Centre so quickly after the accident, I wouldn’t be where I am today.’