Accident Inspires Lifesaving Partnership

The profound work of Cornwall’s Air Ambulance is appreciated no more so than by Anns Cottage owner Rob Harris and his family.

In 2003, Rob’s daughter Sophie was involved in a near-fatal car accident in Polzeath and was given a 50/50 chance of survival. If she were to defy the odds and survive, she would be in a coma for the rest of her life. Walking, talking, ‘living life as she knew it’ were ruled out completely.

The Cornwall Air Ambulance and its crew were on the scene of the accident within 6 minutes, airlifting Sophie to Treliske Hospital and to the specialist care she so desperately needed.

She spent several weeks in intensive care and nearly a year in hospital, but miraculously and despite all the odds, defied the bleak prognosis and pulled through. Although needing 24 hour care support, Sophie is taking small steps to make her life more independent and her recovery can only be described as staggering.

10 years on from the accident, the role the Air Ambulance played that evening in saving Sophie’s life is being recognised.

“In May 2003, my family’s lives were turned upside down, but we took positives from what had happened. The accident made us a stronger family unit even more determined to make the most of every day and every opportunity, appreciating how fragile life can be” said Rob.

With 8 stores across the county, Anns Cottage have grown exponentially in the last decade and are now in a position where they can support the charity which means so much to them.

“We are so proud to support the Cornwall Air Ambulance, they played a huge part in saving my sister Sophie, without them, she may not be here today. We are forever indebted to them” said Emily Doney, sister and Anns Cottage Director.

Paramedic Mark Fuszard was one of the first on the scene of the accident and clearly remembers the incident despite having completed over 2000 missions with the Cornwall Air Ambulance.

“Stories like this make all the difficult aspects of being a paramedic worth it. Sophie’s accident was terrible and it’s remarkable that she’s recovered in the way she has” said Mark.

Anns Cottage recently sponsored Mark on his 6633 Ultra Marathon challenge in the Arctic circle, promoting his cause on their social media pages and blog to help raise as much money as possible for the Trust.

“I feel privileged to have met Mark and his colleagues, and it’s amazing to be a part of such a worthwhile cause.” said Emily.

Rob Harris added: “We’re incredibly humbled to be able to say thank you, not only to the service who saved Sophie’s life, but also to one of the crew. Rural Cornwall’s Air Ambulance is such a valuable resource and this is a small way of expressing how grateful we are.”