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“NHS staff saved my life – I had to do something to help”



Demelza, 42, sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI), among other multiple injuries, as a pedestrian in an horrific road accident in 2016 when she was hit by a car and it rolled over, crushing her.

The first responder arrived on the scene within a minute of a 999 call to find her trapped beneath the vehicle, her heart already in cardiac arrest.

It took three minutes for nearby residents to help retrieve her from under the car and then, reportedly, a further five to eight minutes to get her heart started again.

But by then, her brain had been starved of oxygen for up to 12 minutes, resulting in hypoxic brain damage.

Despite ongoing battles with cognitive symptoms and fatigue, however, Demelza (pictured above, right) is now co-ordinating a GoFundMe appeal to provide desperately needed face shields to frontline COVID-19 workers in East and West Sussex.

Demelza says: “I owe my life to the NHS; they held my life in their hands and never gave up, especially the first responder who got my heart started again and coordinated my rescue.

“I owe my recovery to the expert medical and care staff who have supported me for over three and a half years since the accident.

“Without this support, and the techniques that have been provided to help me manage my symptoms, I would not be able to function as well as I am today.

“I was sitting at home watching the news unfold about the personal PPE (personal protective equipment) crisis and I could not sit back and watch them fight this COVID-19 war without armour.”

Demelza has been running the appeal from her Brighton home via remote technology and with support from other volunteers.

She sourced the face shield materials, set up a GoFundMe page and rallied self-assembly volunteers from across two counties.

She has now distributed hundreds of face shields to frontline medical and care staff.

Demelza’s work continues, however, and she is appealing for more donations and volunteers. She is also seeking a company that can sanitise the face shields in Sussex.

“A big thanks to everyone who has contributed so far. It potentially has saved the lives of many,” Demelza said.

“I would love to be able to help protect so many more which is why I’m asking for your help.”

Demelza’s appeal is backed by Krysalis Consultancy, whcih has been providing her with neurological occupational therapy to support her brain injury recovery since January 2019

To donate or offer practical support contact Demelza here.

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