In March in 2019, Lauren Brown went on a leisurely motorbike ride with her boyfriend, Matt, to enjoy the sunny weather and have an ice cream along Sidmouth seafront. However, not long into their journey, at the crossroads in Kentisbeare, they collided with a car that pulled out in front of them.

Both were thrown from the bike, and Lauren landed in a grassy ditch. When paramedics first reached the scene, they were unaware that Lauren was in the ditch and unresponsive, but her boyfriend soon directed them to tend to her immediately.

Lauren had sustained severe injuries to her knees so was immediately airlifted to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, while her boyfriend – who had also sustained significant injuries after hitting a sign-post - was taken by land ambulance to Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, leaving them both unaware of the other's condition.

On arrival at Derriford, Lauren’s mum was contacted and quickly made her way down to the hospital to be with her daughter. Early the next week, Lauren was transferred to the Royal Devon & Exeter hospital, which meant she was closer to her family. This journey was the first clear memory of the unfortunate experience that she can recollect.

Thankfully, despite the severity of the damage to Lauren’s knees that gave rise to some concern she may have to have her left leg amputated, this was not the case. On the following Friday, Lauren had her first knee surgery, with the second surgery taking place a month later.  

On the road to recovery

Lauren recently attended the Exeter Airbase to have an opportunity to learn more about Devon Air Ambulance and shared how the visit helped her.

The visit to the airbase was beneficial for my recovery. I don’t remember much of the incident, so being there allowed me to begin to fill in some of the remaining gaps in my memory.

Lauren’s ongoing recovery and improvement has been gradual, and she is hopeful of returning to her job as a teacher this autumn. After her experience with Devon Air Ambulance, she is keen for her school to hold their own ‘Be a Hero Day’ to raise funds for the service that saved her.

Would you like to share a story? Due to patient confidentiality, we don’t know who it is that we attend unless a patient decides to contact us, so we only hear from about 15% of those we serve. If you are a former patient who has a story you’d like to share, we would love to hear from you.