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Marilyn Brown

Everything changed in a moment

Marilyn Brown was planning dinner for her and her husband as she walked across Crossley Retail Park in Kidderminster in September 2017. It was a normal Wednesday afternoon, until a driver pulled out of an exit at speed. Marilyn was hit on the right side of her body, knocked to floor and then driven over.

“My head was missed by a whisper,” recalled Marilyn. “I stayed conscious, and the immediate pain told me my body was broken in several areas. A lady approached, telling me she was a first aider and she stayed with me until the paramedics arrived.”

Marilyn’s son, Nick, was nearby, and rushed over when he heard what had happened to his mother.

“He was in shock, but managed to stay calm and reassured me that help was on the way. It must have been so difficult to see his mom broken on the floor.”

Due to the extent of Marilyn’s injuries, the Strensham helicopter, carrying critical care paramedics Julian Spears and Colin Apps on board, was immediately dispatched along with a land ambulance, both of which managed to reach the site within a matter of minutes.

“It felt like an eternity before the ambulance crews arrived – I was sure I was going to die,” said Marilyn. “The thought of being moved terrified me, and I was shaking so violently that my teeth were chattering.”

On arrival, crews knew Marilyn needed specialist care from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and decided to transfer her by air after ensuring her condition had stabilised. She was transported via land ambulance to the helicopter, which had landed a short distance away.

“The aircrew were incredible. They talked me through the whole process and gave me the necessary pain relief to avoid causing further distress,” said Marilyn.

Marilyn’s journey to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital was short, with Julian managing her pain relief and Colin keeping a watchful eye on the monitors. On arrival, she was rushed to the emergency department where a trauma team was waiting for her.

Nick followed Marilyn to the hospital, but her husband, David, and daughter, Emma, both worked over two hours away from the hospital.

David said, “I was so anxious to see Marilyn. No one wants to hear their loved one is involved in such a terrible incident, but being so far away meant I had time to think of all the possible outcomes.”

Marilyn had a fractured leg, wrist, and shoulder blade, chest trauma, broken ribs, injuries to her hand and psychological issues as a result of the incident. Her wrist had to be reset twice, and metal plates were added to her three lower ribs and leg to help her heal. She was incapacitated for a number of weeks due to the extent of her injuries.

A couple of days after her surgery, other family members, friends and work colleagues visited Marilyn. “I’ll never forget the overwhelming support I was given throughout my recovery, and it’s something I’ll forever be grateful for.”

Marilyn was discharged from hospital on 5th October, and was instructed to continue her rehabilitation at home.

She recalls, “Before the accident, I was fit and active. Now I’m on the slow road to recovery. I’ve been able to walk independently since January and I also returned to work on a phased return after Easter.”

“Without a doubt, being supported by Midlands Air Ambulance Charity meant I received treatment at an early stage of my injuries, and that’s probably the reason I’m here to tell my story. Once I retire, I plan to dedicate my time to the charity, and support in whatever way I can.”

David also added, “The charity ensured my wife wasn’t taken from us on that fateful day, and it’s so important that people recognise the need for the charity. Your life can change in a second, and without Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, ours would not be the same.”

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