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Tracey Annable credits LNAA for saving her life after sustaining horrific injuries following a road traffic collision. Now she is using her second chance to teach defibrillator training to healthcare professionals in Nottinghamshire.

It was Good Friday, 2000 and Tracey and her boyfriend were travelling on the A453 towards Nottingham looking forward to a relaxing Easter weekend when her car collided head-on with a small goods lorry.

The impact left her with a fractured skull and multiple facial wounds, a collapsed lung as well as nearly every bone broken in both legs, her right arm, and numerous fingers.

But the quick actions of the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance team, who arrived at the scene in rapid time, made all the difference. They administered the life-saving treatment that she needed before taking her by helicopter to Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre.

Despite suffering two cardiac arrests, Tracey survived. She remained in hospital for four months before being allowed home, with both legs in casts and the prospect of a long and painful road to recovery ahead of her.

Today, Tracey (47) is happily married and living in Sandiacre, close to the Nottinghamshire border, and has a beautiful five-year old daughter. Yet she still suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on occasions. She is eternally grateful to the crew of LNAA who were on call that Bank Holiday and treated her and said: “I should have died that day, after suffering such serious injuries and having a cardiac arrest.”

Her experience has since motivated her to give back to the community and as Lead Trainer for Basic Life Support at Nottingham City Care, Tracey now teaches basic life support combined with CPR and defibrillator training to people in the health care industry. As she says: “This is my way in playing a part to ensure other lives can be saved.”

LNAA’s Senior HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) Paramedic Erica Ley believes that it is crucial for as many people as possible to know how to use a defibrillator and recognize the signs of cardiac arrest. She said: “There are around 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year in the UK and the chance of survival can be increased two-to-threefold by the immediate provision of bystander CPR.

Defibrillation within 3 to 5 minutes of a cardiac arrest can produce survival rates as high as 50%–70%. It is such a simple device that anyone can use, and it really can make the difference between life and death.”