Horse rider reunited with life-saver

A grandmother airlifted to hospital after a horse riding accident has been reunited with the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance doctor who helped save her life.

Hilary Vannier was riding with her local hunt in Shipbourne in Kent when her thoroughbred cross Benji lost his footing and she was thrown off and knocked unconscious.

She had to be given emergency treatment at the scene by the charity helicopter’s doctor and paramedic who carried out advanced medical procedures usually performed only in hospital.

Hilary, 58, from East Grinstead, was then flown to a major trauma centre in London as her children made a mercy dash from their homes in Florida and Malaysia to be at her bedside.

Hilary pictured on Benji-localrider

Scans at King’s College Hospital showed that she had suffered a potentially fatal cerebral bleed and she remained in a drug-induced coma for three days.

She finally awoke from her coma after a further 10 days and spent more than a month at King’s before being transferred to her local specialist neurological unit at the Princess Royal Hospital for a further week.

Hilary was finally allowed home with ongoing rehabilitation and earlier this month she met Air Ambulance doctor Alistair Rennie for the first time since the accident in March.

The Air Ambulance service in Kent, Surrey and Sussex costs around £5 million annually to stay airborne. Receiving no funding from the National Lottery, the charity relies almost entirely upon the generosity of the public to support the two helicopters based at Marden in Kent and Redhill in Surrey.

Air Ambulance logo - localrider

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