“The paramedics are worth their weight in gold”
Carol Hall was visiting her twin sister in Padstow last summer when a door fell onto her leg, causing an open fracture.
The door had been taken off its hinges for a new floor to be laid, it was leant upright against the wall but wasn’t attached. Carol’s sister, Chris, had forgotten it wasn’t attached and went to open it, when it fell forwards and down the front of Carol’s leg and onto her ankle.
“I didn’t see the door, all I felt was this dreadful pain, and I looked down and there was a lot of blood”
Chris put a clean towel on the wound and told her sister to lie down and raise her leg before calling 999.
Carol said: “It really felt that suddenly I was watching a television drama, with the sound of a helicopter out one window and the sound of an ambulance out the other. I couldn’t believe it was happening.”
She had suffered a large laceration to the front of her shin and had broken both bones in her ankle. Cornwall Air Ambulance was tasked with critical care paramedics Lisa Ball and Stu Croft on board your AW169 helicopter.
On scene, the crew administered antibiotics along with pain relief, through gas and air and then morphine. They straightened Carol’s leg to get the bone back into its natural alignment, to help reduce the bleeding and the pain, before putting it into a splint and dressing the wound. The crew decided that it was safe for Carol to be conveyed to Derriford Hospital by land ambulance.
Carol with her twin sister Chris
“The crew were so calming and so professional, as soon as they came I relaxed, I really did relax completely. As soon as they came they told me their names and asked who I was, and that put me at ease straight away.”
In hospital, Carol was given stitches in her leg, and later had an operation to insert pins to knit the tibia and fibula bones back together. She is now walking well again and is on the road to recovery.
She added: “I honestly think I might have been afraid of dying, because the amount of blood that comes out the front of your leg is a lot. And I honestly thought I’m going to bleed out here, I thought if someone didn’t do something quickly, the blood loss would be the big problem. So the fact they were there so quickly was so reassuring.
“The paramedics are worth their weight in gold. They are incredible, they really are.”
Carol’s story features in the new series of Cornwall Air 999, which is on Quest every Friday at 9pm and is available as catch-up on discovery+.