Girl reunited with paramedics who saved her life after crash

Paige with SECAmb's Dave Craddock (left), and Lewis Allam (right), Dr Jane Pateman (kneeling) and Grandmother Caz and Mum Claire (top)
Paige with SECAmb's Dave Craddock (left), and Lewis Allam (right), Dr Jane Pateman (kneeling) and Grandmother Caz and Mum Claire (top)

A 17-YEAR-OLD from Chichester has been reunited with the ambulance crew who saved her life after a life-threatening car crash.

Paige Garfield suffered serious injuries including a major head injury in a collision on the A285 near Eartham, on the evening of October 30, 2012. Roadside care from SEACamb clinicians on the roadside was vital in saving Paige’s life.

She recently visited Chichester Ambulance Station with her mother, Claire and grandmother, Caz, to thank staff.

Paige met with the first paramedic on scene, clinical team leader Dave Craddock, critical care paramedic Lewis Allam and SECAmb medical director Dr Jane Pateman.

Fellow SECAmb clinicians Julia Austin and Dan Bevis also provided vital care to Paige at the roadside.

After providing treatment at the scene the team then arranged to transport Paige to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, a specialist trauma centre, and for Paige to be met en route and administered an emergency anaesthetic by Dr Pateman.

“It’s all a bit strange as obviously don’t remember anything but it’s really great to see everyone and be able to say thank you,” said Paige.

Her mum Claire said: “We all just wanted to say a really big thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It’s so nice to see everyone and I also want to thank all the other emergency services involved on the night. I don’t think people always appreciate the emergency services but everyone should realise what a fantastic job they do. Everyone involved should be very proud. They saved my daughter’s life.”

After receiving emergency treatment at Royal Sussex, Paige was transferred to Hurstwood Park Neurological Centre in Haywards Heath where she spent 14 weeks. She is now continuing her recovery and attending physiotherapy twice a week.

Paige’s Dad Steve has been raising funds for Hurstwood Park and now Claire, who works as a lecturer at Chichester College, has also committed to further fundraising.

Paramedic Dave Craddock was the first clinician to treat Paige. He added: “It’s really amazing to see Paige again and we’re all delighted she’s made such a good recovery.”

Critical care paramedic Lewis Allam, who liaised with SECAmb’s control staff to arrange Dr Pateman’s attendance, said: “It was lovely to see Paige looking so well. It was of course a very challenging incident but everyone, including our colleagues in control and those in the police and fire services worked really well as a team. On behalf of our whole team I’d like to wish Paige all the best for the future.”

Paige said she wants to return to college as soon as possible and then attend university to train as a midwife.