A woman who survived a car crash thanks to Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) is taking part in the charity’s 10th annual Rescue Run this weekend with her family.
Gill Dawson, who nearly died as she was airlifted to hospital following the crash in 2004, is participating in the fundraising event at Billing Aquadrome in Northampton on September 9.
The 46-year-old from Rothwell said: “I am absolutely delighted to be taking part in the Rescue Run again this year as I would not be here today without WNAA.
“The service needs as much funding as possible.
“It saved my life. I had to miss the 2011 event so I am really delighted I am able to take part again this year.
“My leg was amputated as a result of the car crash but I can still jog even if my sister Jane, aged 50, walks faster than I can run.
“My nephews Matthew, 17, and Ethan, 15, will be taking part too and my mum, Maureen, 73, and her West Highland Terrier called Dotty will walk with me.
“The charity is purely funded by donations and it does a fantastic job.
“I would urge anyone who wants to show their support for the service to sign up for the Rescue Run.
“You don’t have to run either.
“I like the route at Billing Aquadrome because there are no steep hills.
“The flat track is nice to jog or walk on.
“I first walked the Billing Aquadrome Rescue Run in September 2006.
“The air ambulance helicopter was visiting the event with Tony Bleetman, the actual doctor who rescued me, so I got to meet him for the first time since my rescue.
“I’ve tried to take part in the Billing Aquadrome event every year since, except for 2008 when I had an operation on my left leg.
“I didn’t take part last year because my stump on my right leg was hurting me. I’m training for this year’s run so my stump should be OK.”
Mrs Dawson’s car crash took place on New Year’s Eve in 2004 on the road between Lamport and Rothwell, near the A14.
Her rescue by the WNAA was shown on Channel Five in 2008 in a television programme about the emergency services.
The air ambulance was on the scene within 11 minutes of the accident occurring and the crew flew Mrs Dawson to hospital in Birmingham. During the flight her heart stopped three times.
The fun run in aid of WNAA takes place from 11am on Sunday at the Events’ Field at the park and showground in Crow Lane, Great Billing, Northampton.
Selena Jacobs, operations support manager for Virgin Active, which has jointly organised the event with Billing Aquadrome, said: “Every single penny raised from this event goes to the charity as all costs are covered by Virgin Active and Billing Aquadrome, and the organising team members have also given all their time for free this and every year.
“The event is a five kilometre fun run/walk and attracts families, children in pushchairs and on bikes and people walking their dogs, as well as seriously competitive runners.
“It starts with a warm-up by Virgin Active and welcome from the WNAA at about 11am, and normally the last stragglers will finish at around 1pm at the very latest.”
Peter Angelides, business development director at Billing Aquadrome, said: “We are delighted to be helping host this event once again this year with Virgin Active.
“WNAA provides an invaluable service to everyone living in the area.
“This fun event is a fantastic way for people to get together to help raise vital funds to support the charity and to also have an enjoyable time doing something healthy in the great outdoors too.”
The entry fee, which goes to WNAA, is £8.50 for adults and £5 for children aged 16 and under. All finishers receive a souvenir medal.
Mr Angelides added: “It’s a great venue for an event like the Rescue Run and we’re expecting hundreds of participants.
“Fingers crossed the Indian summer we’ve been promised by the Met Office will be with us then too.
“We’re all looking forward to greeting all the participants but especially to meeting Gill again. She has a tremendous story to tell.”
To find out more about the Rescue Run on Sunday, call Selena Jacobs on 07875 067432.