A former Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance paramedic is planning a sponsored skydive for the charity after the helicopter was called to three generations of her family, in separate accidents.
Natalie Brodrick’s niece Izzy Sharpe, 18, was airlifted last month (March 4th) after she fell off her horse near Rye.
The accident happened less than a year after the helicopter was called to Natalie’s parents Tim and Diana who were involved in a road traffic collision.
And like Izzy, mother-of-two Natalie was also airlifted after she too fell of her horse five years ago. All four have since made a full recovery.
Natalie, 37, said: “You just never know when you’re going to need the air ambulance. We all took precautions, Mum and Dad were wearing seatbelts and Izzy and I were both wearing a helmet and body protection.
“Horse riding is a risky sport and we all try to safeguard against injury as much as possible with protective equipment but you just never know what’s going to happen. All four of us have used the service and now we want to give something back.”
Izzy, a novice rider, was thrown off her horse at a riding school in Playden and was treated at the scene by the air ambulance’s doctor and paramedic.
They feared she may have broken her pelvis, a potentially fatal injury, so flew her to the regional Major Trauma Centre at the Royal Sussex County Hospital at Brighton.
In June last year, Natalie’s parents were driving back from a hospital appointment when their car was involved in a collision with an oncoming tractor and another vehicle at Peasmarsh.
They were treated at the road-side by the helicopter crew before being taken by land ambulance to the Conquest Hospital.
Natalie added: “Mum and Dad’s accident happened just down the road from where I live and I heard the screeching of tyres. I’m a Community First Responder but I couldn’t respond to it because I was heavily pregnant at the time.
“I stood at the end of my drive slowing the traffic down and I knew the air ambulance was on its way because I could hear the helicopter circling. I then got a call from a paramedic on my Mum’s phone saying that she and Dad had been in an accident.”
Natalie was airlifted after she fell off her horse in Camber in 2010 and in all three cases her former colleagues at the ambulance call centre were unaware of the connection to her.
Almost half of the air ambulance’s callouts are to road traffic collisions and about 6% are to equestrian accidents.
Natalie and Izzy are now planning to jump out of an aeroplane at 12,000ft in a sponsored skydive to raise funds for the air ambulance which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary.