A wintery walk can be a refreshing experience, but Sarah Gooding's February jaunt took a somewhat slippery turn.

Some Februarys ago, Sarah and her husband were visiting the Ham Wall RSPB reserve in Somerset. They were walking around a wooded area and it became a bit slippery underfoot.

As she was walking along a slope, Sarah lost her footing with her ankle sweeping away from her in the mud with a snap. 

I was sitting in a puddle and looked at my husband and said, 'I think I have broken my leg.’ 'Don't be daft,’ was his reply, ‘you have trodden on a twig!' Luckily, I had my mobile phone with me and, after a heated discussion, we rang for an ambulance. An elderly couple sat with me whilst my husband went to the road to meet the ambulance.

As she sat in the puddle Sarah soon realised she was going into shock. Her recent first-aid course training at work reminded her to tap herself in the face to keep herself awake but it wasn't long before the land ambulance crew arrived.

The crew checked Sarah's leg and confirmed her suspicions, giving her gas and air while they strapped her leg in a cast.

Then they started to look worried. 'We can't get you safely down  to the ambulance, so we'll have to call for the helicopter'. The Somerset one wasn't free, but the Devon one was - great news for me as I lived in Exeter! My husband scrambled up the bank and into the farmer's field above to flag down the helicopter.

Once the Devon Air Ambulance aircrew arrived, the team was quick to get Sarah settled on a stretcher and all the crew plus Sarah's husband carried her feet-first up the slope into the field and into the waiting helicopter. 

My husband followed the red dot in the sky as he headed towards Exeter on the M5. 

Whilst on the flight the crew engaged Sarah with all sorts of questions, asking her where in Exeter she lived and even banked the helicopter over so she could see. Sarah and the aircrew arrived at the RD&E and a mud-splattered Sarah was promptly taken to A&E.

We were stopped promptly at the door by the nurses as I had covered both the paramedics and myself in mud!

Sarah had broken both her tibia and fibula and had even chipped her heel. She underwent an operation which meant fixing her bones with 3-inch metal plates and 12 screws. 

I cannot thank the crew enough as they really made me feel at ease.

But thanks to a good recovery Sarah's injuries haven't held her back.

I have run two half marathons since the accident and I've taken part in the Rock Solid obstacle course - the plate has been removed but I will always have 3 screws in my ankle as the bone has grown over them Thank you again to all of the team who helped me on that day - I would have been well and truly stuck without them!

Because of patient confidentiality we only hear from about 15% of those patients we airlift. Patient stories are invaluable for helping us to communicate with new supporters about our critical care service. Our Patient Liaison officer, Debbie, is on-hand to lend support to those we airlift who are also welcome to attend an airbase visit. Got a story to share?

We'd love to hear from you