Helen McMenamin-Smith was in her car on her way home after meeting friends. In the next horrific, life changing moment, she found herself fighting for her life.

As Helen was driving through Littleport a motorbike travelling at high speed collided with her car, landed on the car roof and burst into flames. The car roof subsequently caving in and crumpled on top of Helen’s head as the car flipped over and ended up at the side of the road. Tragically, the motorcyclist died on impact, but Helen was still alive… just. She was trapped and suffering from life threatening skull fractures, together with severe brain, spine and eye injuries.

Thanks to the extraordinary courage and quick thinking of three passers-by (Chris, Nicki and Alan from Norfolk and Cambridgeshire), Helen was pulled from her smoking car with seconds to spare. They looked after her for those vital minutes before the emergency services arrived, including the specialist lifesaving care Magpas Air Ambulance flew to her at the roadside. Had it not been for those who came to her aid, Helen would not have survived the terrible injuries she endured that day.

An off duty EEAST Ambulance Service paramedic stopped and helped, soon joined by an EEAST paramedic crew and the Magpas Air Ambulance advanced medical team. The Magpas doctor and critical care paramedic team sedated and anaesthetised Helen (putting her in a medically induced coma) to reduce the effect of her severe injuries, before flying her to Addenbrooke’s Hospital for further treatment.

Helen has since made a miraculous recovery and now does lots of voluntary work for Magpas Air Ambulance, she explains, “Every day I wake up and I am so grateful to be alive. I want to help raise as much money as possible for Magpas Air Ambulance – I am determined to give people the same, amazing, lifesaving opportunity that I was given.”

In 2018, Helen even went on to write a book; Discussing her interesting childhood, the accident that changed her life forever and how her positive outlook on life has helped her to not only recover, but thrive in the years following. ‘Overcoming Adversity’ is a powerful tale of resilience and determination – and it can be yours for just £10!

Helen’s very generously donating all of the profits from the book to Magpas Air Ambulance! All you need to do is email emma@magpas.org.uk to order your copy today.



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