Greatest gift this Christmas

A LIFESAVING doctor today revealed he had experienced the greatest privilege a medic can ever have - to save a patient from the brink of death and reunite them with their family for Christmas.

By Tracey Sparling

A LIFESAVING doctor today revealed he had experienced the greatest privilege a medic can ever have - to save a patient from the brink of death and reunite them with their family for Christmas.

Tragedy was averted when Dr Paul Silverston, chairman of Suffolk Accident Rescue Service, was called out to the scene of a crash near Newmarket on Christmas Day morning.

His heart sank when he got the call - an accident on Christmas Day spelled bad news for those involved - so Dr Silverston jumped into his 4x4 vehicle and headed for the scene.


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He arrived to find two cars had collided and there were several casualties.

Two people were trapped in one car, and the driver of the other car was described as 'walking wounded.'

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The elderly woman had suffered severe multiple injuries to her entire body, and her condition was too unstable to travel on board the East Anglian Air Ambulance which had been called.

But in the back of an ambulance speeding towards hospital, Dr Silverston and three paramedics -two from the helicopter crew - fought on to save her.

Dr Silverston said: "Together with the two paramedics from the air ambulance, and a third paramedic from a land ambulance, we transferred her into the back of an ambulance.

"She had suffered severe blood loss from her injuries, and was conscious but in a state of deep shock.

"We gave her a lot of fluid on route to hospital, and were able to maintain and improve her condition. She might not have arrived at hospital alive if it had not been for that."

Dr Silverston - who leads SARS, the organisation of emergency doctors called to crashes across the county helped by funds from the Evening Star's Save a Life appeal - said the satisfaction of saving a life had been a special moment on Christmas Day.

He said: "It was a great honour and a privilege to give something like that back to somebody."

The woman, who remains in a serious condition in intensive care at Addenbrooke's Hospital, was visited by her relatives later that day.

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Donations for the Save a Life appeal for SARS, can be sent to Geraldine Thompson, Editor's Secretary, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN.

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