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Staff say thanks to heroes who helped injured Sarah

PUBLISHED: 13:20 26 January 2015 | UPDATED: 13:20 26 January 2015

Sarah Lengsfield meets up again with East Anglia Air Ambulance paramedic Ben Caine who treated her after her accident. With them is pilot Neil Waller, and Sarah's Jarrolds colleagues, Suzie Abel, left, and Carole Slaughter, with a cheque from fundraising in store for £3500. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Sarah Lengsfield meets up again with East Anglia Air Ambulance paramedic Ben Caine who treated her after her accident. With them is pilot Neil Waller, and Sarah's Jarrolds colleagues, Suzie Abel, left, and Carole Slaughter, with a cheque from fundraising in store for £3500. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2015

Five months ago, Sarah Lengsfierd's life changed when she had an accident in her garden.

Jarrold staff hand over cheque

Members of Jarrold staff and Mrs Lengsfierd took the cheque for £3,500 to the East Anglia Air Ambulance (EAAA) head office at Norwich Airport.

Critical Care Paramedic, Ben Caine, administered Mrs Lengsfierd’s pain relief when the air ambulance arrived and also travelled with her to the hospital by land ambulance.

He said: “It’s great to see a patient we have helped and tell us how she got on. We’ve had a catch up and told us about her recovery.

“The fundraising Jarrold have done has been amazing and it is donations like these that help keep the air ambulance in the air.”

Mrs Lengsfierd added: “It’s nice for them to see what happened to me and for me to say thank you.

“It was weird seeing them now as the context is different but they’re fantastic. The money raises is a fantastic way of saying thank you to such a fantastic cause.”

EAAA was launched in 2000 and serves the three million people who live, work and travel within East Anglia.

The service has two helicopters and between them can reach a patient anywhere in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk within 25 minutes.

Each EAAA mission costs just under £3,000.

To continue flying, the charity needs to raise £7.6 million in 2015 - with the charity relying 100pc on charitable donations from across East Anglia.

From December 2013 to April 2014 EAAA crews flew 665 missions, 235 missions were flown from Norfolk.

For more information about EAAA or to make a donation, visit www.eaaa.org.uk

The Fashion Floor manager at Jarrold in Norwich was finishing off mowing the garden on August 16 when the grass box came loose.

But as Mrs Lengsfierd went to empty it, her left hand was pulled in.

Mrs Lengsfierd, who lives in Southburgh with her husband Michael, daughter Spencer, 16 and son Heller, 12, said: “I was in shock and could not believe what happened. I ran into the house to the sink, trying to keep the blood from dripping.”

Her husband called the ambulance service but the paramedics could only administer low strength pain killers so they called the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Jarrold’s fundraising event

Carole Slaughter, marketing manager at Jarrold, said: “Everybody wanted to do something as we all could not go and visit Sarah. So we decided to do a fashion show for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

“It was all staff modelling and staff and family members in the audience. Sarah came and her two children were modelling and her husband Michael was taking photographs.

“On the night we raised £1,700 and the rest of the £3,500 was made through donations within the company.

“We’re delighted by the amount we raised and even more delighted that Sarah is back at work with us.”

The 47-year-old added: “I was in shock so didn’t notice I had lost my thumb and my other fingers were just flaps of skin. But then the pain was throbbing and it became unbearable.

“The air ambulance brought such calm and gave me some strong pain killers and they told me what was happening and made everything bearable.”

Mrs Lengsfierd spent 12 hours in surgery, but lost her thumb and the top halves of her fingers. She was in hospital for 13 days and off work until November when she started back three days a week before returning full time on January 5.

Staff at the Norwich store were so shocked by their colleague’s injuries that they decided they would fundraise for the East Anglian Air Ambulance because of the help they gave Mrs Lengsfierd.

The store raised £3,500 for the charity and along with her Jarrold colleagues the mother-of-two presented a cheque to the staff who helped her on the day and to update them on her recovery.

And the retail worker hasn’t let her injuries stop her getting on with things.

“Everyone heals in their own time but I have two young children and I couldn’t be a mum at home depressed. I’m getting the confidence to except how my hand looks.

“I have a moment of frustration when I can’t clutch things because I haven’t got my thumb. But this is me and there isn’t much I can’t do.”

Mrs Lengsfierd still goes to a physiotherapist every two weeks and will be seeing a leading prophetic specialist in February about getting a prophetic thumb.

Have you, like Sarah, been involved in an accident and have got a story to tell? Email rebecca.murphy@archant.co.uk

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