Carole Collen

KSS undoubtedly saved my life

Early one morning last year, I collapsed at home after suffering a ruptured aneurysm, also known as a bleed on my brain. It could have happened at any time, but I was lucky that my husband Mick arrived back from a night shift, just in time. Mick says he knew something was wrong because the door was unlocked but there was no sign of me. He came upstairs and found me collapsed between the bed and the wall, on the spare bedroom floor.

“When KSS needed to fly Carole to London, I knew it was serious”

Mick Collen

He called 999 and five minutes later a critical care paramedic (CCP) arrived at the scene and said they needed the KSS Air Ambulance to take me to King’s College Hospital in London. I didn’t come out of the induced coma for three days. They had to tell my family that I might not make it. At the time, my daughter was pregnant and due in just a few weeks, so obviously everyone was worried about me possibly not having the chance of seeing my new grandchild. When I came round, I was very confused. It was a lot to take in. Even now it doesn’t all seem real. I was discharged from King’s in just two weeks out of sheer
determination. I really wanted to get home to my family. I’d been blessed with a granddaughter, but I felt worried about holding her in case it happened again.

When Christmas came round again, I had to pinch myself

It was great to enjoy Christmas with my family. I put on a front, pushing all that happened to the back of my mind. I kept asking Mick to pinch me. It didn’t seem real. I kept thinking, ‘am I really here?’ It was a strange feeling. Now, not a day goes by without thinking about what happened. It’s made me feel differently about life. Now I take nothing for granted. I tell people, if you get a headache, get it sorted. I also encourage them to support KSS. Without them, I wouldn’t be here now with my family around me.

Carole and her husband Mick meeting KSS crew in front of the helicopter.
Please, will you show your care for families across Kent, Surrey and Sussex, by giving a donation to your local air ambulance charity today? Every pound is vital to help us raise the £45K it costs each day to keep our helicopters in the air, our response cars on the road, and the skills of our team at the cutting edge of medical care. With only limited support from the NHS, 87% of our funding comes directly from your kindness and generosity.

Tom Mikrut - KSS Paramedic

Our patients are at the centre of what we do.

There is nothing more heart-warming for our team than when a former patient gets in touch and wants to visit us. If you, or a family member, has been a patient of ours and would like to get in touch, we would love to hear from you. 

Saving lives when every second counts

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