Lis Berreen

“A woman has been airlifted to hospital with life-threatening injuries after she was involved in a collision with a car in Wolverhampton. No car was at the scene when emergency crews arrived and no one else was injured.’’

It was 5.10pm on a Autumn evening, when Lis Berreen, then 67, was the victim of a hit and run incident. The domestic violence counsellor was at a pelican crossing when in a split second her life was left hanging in the balance.

The collision happened on October 10th 2011, on the city’s ring road in rush hour. A rapid response vehicle, ambulance, incident support officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance from RAF, Cosford, dashed to the scene.

Lis from Bromsgrove recalls what she remembers from that awful day; “I was on my way home from work and I remember walking towards the pedestrian crossing to where my car was parked. I am told that I was hit by a car that came towards my right hand side. I remember nothing about the impact. The next clear memory I have is seven hours later in Intensive Care.”

Lis suffered a catalogue of injuries as crews battled to save her life at the roadside.

The impact left the right side of her body shattered, and caused two open wounds to the back of her head, two fractures to her right shoulder and seven rib fractures. There were contusions to her right lung which was also punctured by a broken rib.    This was life-threatening because Lis is asthmatic. Her pelvis was fractured in several places, her right kneecap was dislocated and fractured as was her right tibia and two vertebrae. The whole right side of her body was badly bruised and lacerated.

Crews fought to stabilise her injuries before airlifting her to the Regional Trauma Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

Her injuries were treated within the golden hour which ultimately saved her life.

Elizabeth explains; “There is no doubt in my mind that my life was saved by the air ambulance crew. Time was of the essence and I didn’t have time to get to hospital by land ambulance in rush hour, in a city centre.”

Elizabeth was in a critical condition for 72 hours and spent a further six and a half weeks in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in ICU, on the trauma ward.

“I was told my injuries were similar to those of someone who had been involved in a bomb explosion,” she adds.

OPERATIONS STATISTICS:
Missions completed since 1991 48,688 | On average we airlift a child every four days | Road traffic collisions make up around 35% of the incidents we attend | The service airlifts up to three horse riders each week.