Car crash survivor reveals horror of accident as she calls for volunteers to help air medics

A car crash victim who was rescued by Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance is calling for more people to volunteer.

Thursday, 17th March 2016, 12:12 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th March 2016, 12:17 pm

Angie Compton, aged 52, has thanked all those who helped treat her following her serious accident and is specifically asking people to volunteer for the air medics.

In particular, Mrs Compton, who lives in Evenley, wants people to step forward in the Brackley area after discovering there are only four volunteers covering that patch.

It was just a normal day for Mrs Compton, travelling to pick husband Paul up from the garage when their lives were changed forever.

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She was involved in a horrific road traffic collision that left her Landrover mangled beyond all repair, roof torn off, and, terrifyingly, Mrs Compton trapped inside.

She said: “I still can’t remember the accident – unfortunately, my poor husband and family can. I’ve been told you couldn’t even tell the car was a Landrover.”

Just 10 minutes after they received the call, Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance was the first emergency resource to arrive at the scene.

They quickly assessed Mrs Compton, still trapped in the car. The severity of her condition meant that the air ambulance doctor and critical care paramedic had to rapidly extricate her so they could attend to her injuries.

She had suffered a serious head injury and had to be sedated on scene, then flown to the major trauma centre at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire.

Mrs Compton said: “When I arrived at Coventry they took me into A&E for assessment. Paul tells me they had informed him that by the time he got there, I might well have died.”

For the next six weeks, Mrs Compton had to be kept in an induced coma while she recovered from her ordeal. Her injuries were so extensive that for two weeks after her accident, it was touch and go as to whether she survived. As well as requiring a craniotomy to relieve pressure on her brain, she had also broken her neck, requiring a neck brace.

In early December, Mrs Compton was finally brought out of her coma. She said: “Paul was by my side when I came round. Apparently my first words were “who the hell are you?” – a great start to say the least.”

After a couple of weeks passed, she was well enough to be able to be moved to Leamington Spa Rehab Hospital, where she remained for the following four months. Though she has had to have several operations and has undergone a lengthy recovery period, Mrs Compton has thrown herself into volunteering for Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.

“I have had to restart my life in many ways from scratch, but something will always remain forefront in my mind. I was told by more than one doctor that I owe my life to those wonderful people in the air ambulance service – had it not been for them being first on scene, I probably wouldn’t be telling this story now.

“Visiting the air ambulance was scary and emotional, but it truly is an amazing service and I can’t thank them enough for saving my life. I was so shocked when they said they only have four volunteers in the Brackley area, and I urge everyone to support the air ambulance as you just never know when you might need it.”

Adam Nash, critical care paramedic for WNAA, said: “It was a true honour to see Angie and her family. She was very, very poorly when I saw her last time – it’s just great that she came back to visit us.”

If you are interested in helping support the air ambulance, whether by giving up some free time, helping fundraise, or donating, please contact [email protected] or call 08454 130999*.

*Calls to the 08454 numbers are charged at 3ppm plus your access charge.