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Lorry Crash Mum Reunited With Paramedics and Volunteer Doctors

A visually-impaired mum has been reunited with the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) paramedics and the volunteer doctors who saved her life when she was crushed by a lorry.

Kay Kitto was struck outside her Falmouth home in September 2016 as she was loading her car for a family trip that never happened.

Kay sustained life-changing injuries when the hydraulic arm of the commercial lorry collided with a stationary van that subsequently hit her.

To listen to the traumatic 999 call made by Kay's husband, click here

Kay, now 47, has made a remarkable recovery from the accident, including regaining the use of her legs.

Kay and husband Nigel made a special visit to Falmouth Ambulance Station on Tuesday 18 June to thank members of the team who treated her.

“I’m so grateful to everyone involved for everything they did,” she said. “I owe them my life. I was determined not to be beaten by the accident, and I’ve pushed myself to get better.”

A visually-impaired mum has been reunited with the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) paramedics and the volunteer doctors who saved her life when she was crushed by a lorry.

Kay Kitto was struck outside her Falmouth home in September 2016 as she was loading her car for a family trip that never happened.

Kay sustained life-changing injuries when the hydraulic arm of the commercial lorry collided with a stationary van that subsequently hit her.

To listen to the traumatic 999 call made by Kay's husband, click here

Kay, now 47, has made a remarkable recovery from the accident, including regaining the use of her legs.

Kay and husband Nigel made a special visit to Falmouth Ambulance Station on Tuesday 18 June to thank members of the team who treated her.

“I’m so grateful to everyone involved for everything they did,” she said. “I owe them my life. I was determined not to be beaten by the accident, and I’ve pushed myself to get better.”

Mark Griffiths, SWASFT Emergency Care Assistant, said: “Kay has made a phenomenal recovery, which is testament to her grit and determination.

“It’s an absolute privilege to be able to meet with her. She’s an amazing woman.”

The family had been on their way to London for a Guide Dogs for the Blind Association fun day.

Nigel called 999 to report the incident, and staff in the SWASFT Control Centre organised for crews to attend.

A team of responders, including paramedics and BASICS (British Association for Immediate Care Schemes) Cornwall volunteer doctors, treated Kay at the scene before she was taken onto hospital for further care.

Kay had fractures to her lower spine, two broken legs, a perforated bowel and sepsis. She spent more than 13 weeks in hospital, where she was put into a medically-induced coma and had five operations.

Kay said: “I remember telling the paramedics at the scene not to give me anything stronger than painkillers, and that I didn’t want to have any operations because I don’t heal well.”

Kay was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following the incident.

Her son, Dexter, now 12, was in the car when the accident happened, but escaped physical injury.

Guide dog Jackie was thrown out of the car, but was also uninjured. She had to be retired in September 2018 after four-and-a-half years of service, because of stress caused by the accident.

A SWASFT spokesman said: “Kay and her family have shown remarkable courage and fortitude to persevere come through an incredibly challenging time.

“We are delighted they have been able to meet-up with some of paramedics and volunteer doctors who attended the incident almost three years.

“We wish them all the best with their ongoing recovery.”

Three men were sentenced at Truro Crown Court in April 2018 in relation to the incident.

If you are involved in or witness an accident in which people may be injured, call 999 for an ambulance and report the incident to the police. Attempt to reach any casualties without putting yourself in danger. 

Notes:

1. The main group image shows (left to right): SWASFT Paramedic Justin Thomas; Dr Ryan Jackson; Kay and Nigel Kitto; Dr Ryan Jackson; and SWASFT Emergency Care Assistant Mark Griffiths.

 2. PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events. Someone with PTST often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. Some people with PTSD may find it difficult to control and process their emotions. They may display symptoms including shortness of breath, tight muscles, excessive sweating and raised heart rate. They may feel constantly on edge, always anxious about events repeating, and unable to remain calm in what should be manageable circumstances. More information on PTSD can be found here from Mind, the mental health charity.

3. BASICS (British Association for Immediate Care Schemes) Cornwall is a charity that supports SWASFT with the provision of specially trained doctors and vital medical equipment. The doctors all respond on a voluntary basis, in their own vehicles, and in their own time. BASICS Cornwall doctors aim to provide a fast response to incidents in rural areas, and use their extensive skills to support patient care. For more information, visit: https://basicscornwall.org/