Two women are to make a sponsored skydive to thank the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance team – after three generations of the same family were rescued by the charity’s paramedic teams in separate incidents.
Natalie Brodrick, a mother of two, and Izzy Sharpe, 18, are planning to jump out of an aeroplane at 12,000ft to raise funds for the air ambulance which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary. The skydive is booked for July 18 at Headcorn Airfield in Kent.
Natalie, 37, of Peasmarsh, was airlifted after she fell off her horse in Camber five years ago. At the time she was living at Jury Gap.
Her niece Izzy Sharpe, a novice rider, was airlifted last month – March 4 – after she was thrown off her horse at a riding school in Playden and was treated at the scene by the air ambulance’s doctor and paramedic. It was feared that she might have broken her pelvis, a potentially fatal injury, so she was flown to the regional major trauma centre at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton
In June last year, Natalie’s parents, Tim and Diana Brodrick, of Playden, were driving back from a hospital appointment when their car was involved in a collision with an oncoming tractor and another vehicle at Peasmarsh. They were treated at the roadside by the helicopter crew before being taken by land ambulance to the Conquest Hospital.
She said: “Mum and dad’s accident happened just down the road from where I live and I heard the screeching of tyres. I’m a Community First Responder but I couldn’t respond to it because I was heavily pregnant at the time. I stood at the end of my drive slowing the traffic down and I knew the air ambulance was on its way because I could hear the helicopter circling. I then got a call from a paramedic on my mum’s phone saying that she and dad had been in an accident.”
All four have since made a full recovery.
Natalie, who herself worked as a paramedic with the Kent, Surrey and Sussex service, said: “Horse riding is a risky sport and we all try to safeguard against injury as much as possible with protective equipment, but you just never know what’s going to happen. All four of us have used the air ambulance service and now we want to give something back.” She and her niece aim to raise £1,000 and can be sponsored here.
“I’m not scared of flying but I’m absolutely petrified of heights, like looking outside of a 15-storey window or standing on the edge of a cliff,” added Natalie. “My partner’s an ex-paratrooper, so he would jump out of an aircraft on a regular basis.”
Almost half of the air ambulance’s callouts are to road traffic collisions and about six per cent are to equestrian accidents. To make a donation or to find out more, visit its website.