Last September Suzanne Reeve a teacher from Hooe in Plymstock, fell badly whilst walking her two dogs. Suzanne wants to share her story to thank the volunteer medic that came to her aid as she makes her recovery.
Suzanne has two beautiful Alsatians and regularly strolls in her local woodland. On this day Suzanne did not have her mobile phone and was unable to get herself up.
“I thought I had only broken my arm, but when I went to push myself up, I then realised I had broken every single bone in my ankle.”
Suzanne was unable to move. She had broken her arm and her ankle was at 140 degrees facing her with a splintered bone.
Adrenalin took hold and Suzanne put a splint on her own ankle using her shoelace and some sticks. “I quickly put the splints together and then wrapped my ankle, which I had to obviously twist back.”
Laid in the woods for approximately 15 minutes with no passers-by, and two walkers that devastatingly didn’t help Suzanne, she began to feel distressed. After a further 10 minutes and Suzanne beginning to panic, fortunately, a lady answered Suzanne’s cries for help, but was unable to lift her, so she went to Suzanne’s home to alert her husband.
“The lady was amazing and it is really down to her, I think.”
Meanwhile, BASICS Devon volunteer immediate care Dr Anthony Golding-Cook a Plymouth area responder saw the case on the Ambulance system after work and decided to attend the incident. Tony arrived first on the scene. He eventually found Suzanne in the woods, a difficult location, being pulled along by her husband in a beach trolley, but stuck due to rough terrain.
Tony treated Suzanne at the scene, assessing her injuries and was able to administer vital specialist pain relief. Tony said “I was just amazed that Suzanne had done such a fantastic job at splinting her ankle, which must have been absolute agony.” He stayed with her in the dark until the ambulance arrived.
Suzanne said “I was incredibly lucky because Tony came along and without Tony I really don’t think I would have been able to get through it. I have an awful lot of thanks to Tony for everything that he did.”
Ambulance demand is under increased pressures. BASICS Devon aims to support the South Western Ambulance Service in the care for critically injured patients. Year on year the charity callout figures have grown approximately 10%.
BASICS Devon help reduce response times and, for many emergencies are able to stand down the ambulance response, relieving pressures on the NHS. Being on the ground, in our local communities, BASICS Devon can be fast to the scene in all weather conditions and at night, and likely to arrive first. As a team of specialist voluntary doctors, there is no equivalent in Devon. All hold advanced qualifications in pre-hospital emergency medical and trauma. The doctors are senior decision makers and carry enhanced pain relief, sedative drugs and specialist equipment. They are also trained to undertake a number of specialist lifesaving surgical procedures.
Suzanne’s story highlights the importance of the team and how their specialist skills and expertise are crucial.
Since January our doctors have attended 141 callouts, 44 of which were at night, and they arrived first on the scene at 31% of them. With help we will be able to continue our mission to provide specialist prehospital medical care, especially reaching those that are vulnerable and isolated and supporting our local ambulance service when they need us most in one of the most rural counties in the country, to support the doctors or get involved visit www.basics-devon.org.uk.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Photos available & short video clips
About BASICS Devon
• BASICS Devon is a network of 14 emergency volunteer doctors providing immediate access to specialist medical care at the scene of an accident or illness. Making themselves available around the clock throughout the year, responding to incidents at the request of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. The charity relies solely on donations.
• BASICS Devon doctors aim to provide a fast response to incidents in rural areas and use their extensive skills to support patient care.
• For further information, to donate or get involved please visit: www.basics-devon.org.uk
For further information please contact Amie Bull, Fundraising Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org T: 01752 936299 or visit: www.basics-devon.org.uk