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00  Month

Lucky to be alive

Created on 11/01/2011 @ 15:16
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A routine drive home from Newtown turned into anything but for Hannah Barrett on Saturday afternoon.
Wary of the patches of black ice on the road to Adfa close to Aberhafesp, Hannah, who works at CastAlum, Welshpool, was taking her time with her two year-old daughter and mother as passengers following Friday’s snow and plunging temperatures.
But her day was set to take a dramatic turn and, here, she relives the series of events that saw her involved in a daring rescue which thankfully had a happy ending:
“My mother and I were driving home from Newtown following the Aberhafesp to Adfa road. This was at approximately 1pm. As we turned right towards Bwlch Y Frridd, mum noticed that a car was facing upside down in the river. As we continued to drive alongside the vehicle, mum noticed that the headlights were still on and the exhaust was still going.
“I dropped mum beside the site and pulled into the layby so our car was safe. We also had my two year old daughter with us so I took her out of the car and ran down to meet my mum who was on the telephone to the emergency services. I noticed that the driver and passenger of the car were struggling in the water.
“I gave my daughter to my mum and started to climb down the bank to help. The passenger, who was female was obviously distraught and as I took her hand, I slipped and fell into the river. I pulled myself up from the bank and then grabbed the lady by her shoulders and dragged her up and onto the top of the bank. I then proceeded to help the gentleman.
“In the meantime, my mum was talking to the emergency services, whose response and kindness was fantastic. As daft as this might sound but neither my mum nor I knew which road we were on. The call centre kept reassuring her and would phone her back every five minutes for an update.
“Once we got the couple on the side of the road, my mum who is first aid trained, visually and orally assessed whether the couple had any injuries. I flagged another car down who assisted by providing dry blankets and coats. The lady had a gash on her wrist and the tissues that we gave them were ineffective so I grabbed a nappy (clean one!) out of my bag and the lady who stopped with her partner, wrapped the injured wrist.
“By then the Air Ambulance arrived. The pilot and paramedics were fabulous in how they dealt with the situation and were very kind towards my daughter who by now was becoming a little distressed. What was wonderful is that as they were leaving, the crew made sure they said goodbye to my daughter and reassured her.
“I think the biggest message that I would like to convey with this story is how efficient and effective the emergency services are; from the Air Ambulance team, to the ambulance who arrived, police officer and two fire engines. Members of the public should be aware of the fantastic service these people provide.
“I contacted Shrewsbury Hospital late on Saturday evening and was advised that the couple were ok and were being discharged that evening and both my mum and myself wish them a speedy recovery.”
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