Family say thank you to Cornwall Air Ambulance for saving Sophie's life
THE FAMILY of a woman who nearly died in a car crash ten years ago are saying thank you to Cornwall Air Ambulance for helping to save her life.
Sophie Harris was in a near-fatal car accident in Polzeath in 2003 and was given a 50/50 chance of survival.
The Cornwall Air Ambulance and its crew were on the scene of the accident within six minutes, airlifting Sophie to Treliske hospital in Truro and to the specialist care she desperately needed.
Doctors delivered the devastating news that 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' had been ruled out completely.
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But fighter Sophie, daughter of Anns Cottage owner Rob Harris, was not going to give up that easy.
She spent several weeks in intensive care and nearly a year in hospital, but miraculously she defied the bleak prognosis and pulled through.
A decade later, although she needs 24 hour care support, Sophie is taking small steps to make her life more independent and her recovery can only be described as staggering.
Her father, Rob, said: "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."
He said he and his family could not be more appreciative of what the Cornwall Air Ambulance did for his daughter.
As a way of saying thank you, Anns Cottage are sponsoring Cornwall Air Ambulance paramedic Mark Fuszard, who was one of the first on the scene of the accident.
He is taking part in a 352 mile marathon challenge in Canada - which only six people have ever completed.
Sophie's sister, Emily Doney, said: "We are so proud to support the 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."
On Sunday March 17, paramedic Mark will fly to Canada to start his hugely demanding and self-sufficient challenge in a bid to raise more than £10,000 for the charity.
He will tow his provisions on a sledge, travel and 'sleep' along treacherous ice roads, and endure temperatures as low as -50°C.
Mark said it was stories like this which 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," he said.
"Last year I completed the Namib Desert Challenge so this Trek is quite literally, the polar opposite. This time there will be no need to worry about over-heating...but frostbite instead!"
Anns Cottage are promoting his cause on their social media pages and blog to help raise as much money as possible for the Trust.
Rob 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."
Mark Fuszard begins the 6633 Extreme Ultra Marathon on March 22. Track his progress with Anns Cottage on Facebook www.facebook.com/annscottagesurf and twitter @annscottagesurf. To donate to Mark's challenge: http://www.justgiving.com/MarkFuszard-6633