Become One in a Million for Magpas, urges injured schoolgirl

A FORMER St Ives school girl who suffered horrific injuries when a car ploughed into her is calling on people to join Magpas’s One in A Million campaign.

A FORMER St Ives schoolgirl who suffered horrific injuries when a car ploughed into her is calling on people to join Magpas’s One in A Million campaign.

Few know more about the importance of medical emergency charity Magpas than Debbie Baughan.

She was just 15 when a car mounted the pavement as she walked home with friends from school and flung her into the air.

She landed with one leg impaled on a metal spike but, thanks to Magpas volunteers, Debbie escaped with her life.

Now the 24-year-old, an account assistant at Meridian Audio, is urging people to dig into their pockets and donate �1 to Magpas, which is currently fighting to save its air ambulance service.

Debbie, of Wheatley Crescent, Bluntisham, said: “People spend �1 on a cheap shot in a club or a snack machine at work. This is just asking them to put �1 in a card and send it to Magpas.

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It seemed an insignificant decision that led Debbie and three other friends to go along the road instead of walking the back way through a field after finishing school. The day was wet and grey, and none of the group fancied trudging through mud. But that decision led to their lives changing for ever.

They heard the screech of tyres but before the friends could get out of the way, a car had ploughed into them.

Debbie took the full force of the collision.

She said: “I remember walking along the pavement and actually being hit. I remember waking up on the rails and I could see where the spike had got into my leg.

“Magpas came and calmed me down and knocked me out. The fire brigade then had to cut the railings. I still had the spike in my leg when they took me to hospital.

“The spike was just inches away from a major artery. I was in hospital for a week. I had to have two operations – one to have the spike removed and one to stitch my leg.

“I have scars on my upper thigh and a scar on my forehead, but I am fine now. The only time it will affect me is when a Magpas car drives past. Then it chokes me up a bit.

“It could have been so much worse. If it had not been for Magpas, I could have been lying there staring at my leg until the ambulance arrived, and I would have had to live through the whole ordeal of being cut off the railings by the fire brigade.”

East Anglian Air Ambulances have flown Magpas volunteers to emergencies across the county since 2007, but last month the charity announced it would be dropping the service.

Instead, medics with private firm EMSC have been appointed to work on the EAAA’s helicopters Anglia One and Anglia Two.

Fears are that Anglia Two will also be moved from RAF Wyton to Marshalls in Cambridge, which protestors say will increase response times to Huntingdonshire and the north of the county.

Debbie is among those calling for the service to remain at RAF Wyton.

She said: “Everything on that day was right. Magpas were based just round the corner.

“You never know when you are going to need them and, if they do get moved to Cambridge and something happens locally, they are not going to get here as quickly.”

Magpas needs an extra �250,000 to fly its doctors in the police helicopter, taking its total annual fundraising target to about �750,000.

Fundraising co-ordinator Debbie Florence said: “If we make this million together, the doctors and paramedics who work with us will continue to be able to save lives.”