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Former patient leads regional fundraising campaign

Monday 1st October

Former patient, Gill Douglas, explains why she is leading a fundraising campaign for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, involving Funeral Partners branches across the region.

Gill was going through a stressful divorce on the day that changed her life. She was distracted as she walked her dog one morning in May 2013, and stepped out into the road at a busy junction, into the path of an oncoming bus.

Witnesses say she was thrown about 20 feet in the air before landing on the road, splitting open her head and breaking several ribs. As a passer-by and the first responder reassured Gill, and kept her neck still, she soon heard the Air Ambulance overhead.

Gill recalled:

“When I heard the helicopter, I became quite frightened as the severity of the accident dawned on me. The HIOWAA Critical Care Team were soon at my side and were incredible, checking me over, and being amazingly calm and kind to me as, by then, I think the shock had really set in. I remember lying in the road, scared, not knowing if I may have life changing injuries. All that mattered to me at that moment were my family and loved ones.”

Remarkably, mum-of-two Gill was only in hospital overnight and made a full recovery, but her experience changed her perspective on life.

Crediting them for saving her life, and humbled by the care and kindness of the Critical Care Team, she set out to support HIOWAA, volunteering for them at events over the past four years and raising vital awareness for the Charity.

The most recent step on her life-changing journey came in June when, after a long career as a hairdresser, Gill joined AH Roger & Sons Funeral Directors and trained as a Funeral Arranger.

Gill said: “I’m lucky to have found a job I’m passionate about which allows me to give something back. It is so rewarding and fulfilling to be able to help families at their time of need.”

And, with the support of Pre-Paid Funeral Plan provider, Choice, part of Funeral Partners, where Gill now works, businesses across Hampshire are ‘giving something back’ to a vital community service by fundraising for the Air Ambulance.

For every Choice Funeral Plan sold in the region between October 2018 and March 2019, Choice will donate £50 to HIOWAA. For a limited period, Choice is also offering a £300 discount on a Pre-Paid Funeral Plan to customers visiting Funeral Partners

Hampshire branches and quoting HIOWAA, or by visiting www.choiceplan.co.uk and quoting HAA50.

Gill concluded:

“Life is so short. As my accident showed me, you really do not know what is around the corner. Having a plan or even just your wishes noted can be a great help to family, and peace of mind for yourself. I firmly believe my accident has changed my life for the better, but I know how lucky I am to be here to tell my story.”

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