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Car accident survivor reunited with life-saving ambulance crews

23 June 2017

Drew, Colin and the SECAmb teamA Sussex man who suffered life-threatening injuries and spent six months in hospital after a serious car accident, has been reunited with the ambulance team who helped save his life.

Drew Monckton, aged 36, from Horsham, was travelling in his car on the A24 between Horsham and Dorking, when his vehicle left the road shortly after 6am on 9 September 2016.

Luckily for mechanic and father Drew, a member of SECAmb control room staff, dispatcher Kate Nebbett, spotted his car in trees down an embankment on her way to work. Kate stopped to help, alerted her clinical colleagues and stayed to assist the medical team. Kate’s actions for going above and beyond the call of duty were recognised at the Trust’s annual staff awards earlier this year.

The first clinicians to arrive at the scene were Paramedic Rebekah Vonk and Associate Practitioner Heidi Gaskins after details had been gathered and support provided by Emergency Medical Advisor Laura Staplehurst.

Rebekah and Heidi were backed by paramedics Julie Marchant and Johnathan Harrold before air ambulance team Mike Rose and Mark Salmon attended the scene by road.

The crews worked together to provide emergency care to Drew before he was taken to St George’s Hospital in London.

The prognosis for Drew was uncertain and he was kept in an induced coma for a month. Things weren’t any more certain when he failed to gain consciousness when attempts were made to wake him from the induced coma. However, over time, and with expert hospital treatment, he made improvements and following a six-month hospital stay with intense rehab, he was able to return home.

Drew, who has had to teach himself to walk again due to a brain injury which affects his short term memory, was full of praise for everyone who helped him.

He said: “I’m just so grateful to everyone for everything they did. You don’t realise when you out and about quite how much the NHS does. It’s been a real eye opener. I’m really pleased to have been able to meet everyone face-to-face to say thank you.”

Drew’s dad, Colin, a retired police officer, who now who works for SECAmb as an equipment officer at Banstead said: “As a former police officer I know how nice it is to have people let you know how thankful they are. I wanted to say a massive thank you from all of us. Everyone, from Kate who initially stopped and helped to the guys in the control room, from the crews who attended the scene to all the hospital teams - they all did a brilliant job.”

Paramedic Rebekah Vonk added: “On behalf of the whole team it’s been a real pleasure to meet Drew and Colin. It’s essential in incidents such as this that everyone works together as a team and that’s exactly what we did. We all wish Drew and his family all the very best for the future and for his continued recovery.”

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