Ca­noe club mem­bers show­case skills dur­ing MP visit

Glamorgan Gazette - - News - MARK SMITH mark.smith@waleson­

MEM­BERS of Maesteg Ca­noe Club dis­played their skills to Og­more MP Chris El­more as he vis­ited one of their weekly ses­sions.

The club of­fers ses­sions ev­ery Wed­nes­day be­tween 7pm and 8pm for ju­niors and for over 18s be­tween 8pm and 9pm at Maesteg Swim­ming Pool.

Mr El­more said: “I’ve been wait­ing for the op­por­tu­nity to get down to the Ca­noe Club for ages – it’s fan­tas­tic to see so many res­i­dents of all ages tak­ing part in this sport even as we head into win­ter.”

Dur­ing the sum­mer, the club meets at the MUM Son­ali Das Simp­son was col­lect­ing her daugh­ter from school when she was crushed by her own car in a freak ac­ci­dent.

She suf­fered a cat­a­logue of hor­ren­dous in­juries in­clud­ing more than a dozen frac­tured ribs and two col­lapsed lungs.

After be­ing given lifesaving chest surgery in the car park of the school – and then taken by air am­bu­lance for fur­ther treat­ment in hospi­tal – Son­ali went on to make a mirac­u­lous re­cov­ery.

“I was parked on a slight in­cline on a grassy area,” said Son­ali, re­call­ing the hor­ri­fy­ing in­ci­dent in June 2015.

“I opened up the back door on the pas­sen­ger’s side to let my daugh­ter, Caitlin, into the car. docks in Port Tal­bot, be­fore re­vert­ing back to in­door ca­noe­ing for the win­ter months.

“Many thanks to Emi-

“She climbed in and man­aged to knock off the hand brake. The car started rolling to­wards me with her in it.

“I tried to stop the car as best I could but the weight of the car pushed me over.”

The car ran di­ag­o­nally across her chest and then kept on trav­el­ling down the in­cline.

Amaz­ingly, de­spite her dev­as­tat­ing in­juries, Son­ali man­aged to get up and check on her daugh­ter who had man­aged to jump out of the mov­ing car.

“Even though the car had just crushed me, I some­how man­aged to get up and make sure my daugh­ter was OK,” she said.

“They say peo­ple with a lot of adrenalin go­ing through them can do ‘su­per­hu­man’ things like lift in­cred­i­bly heavy things. I think my moth­erly in­stinct just kicked in.

“Caitlin ran over to me and started cry­ing. It was at that point I fell to the ground.” Luck­ily an off-duty GP was at the scene when the ac­ci­dent hap- ly and Dan for invit­ing me along. I’d en­cour­age any­body who wants to try out a new sport to get in touch with the pened at the pri­mary school in Porth­cawl.

“I re­mem­ber ask­ing Caitlin to get my mo­bile phone from my hand­bag so I could phone work and tell them I wasn’t go­ing to be in.”

An am­bu­lance was im­me­di­ately called, fol­lowed by a he­li­copter from the Wales Air Am­bu­lance, which reached her in just nine min­utes.

She was treated by Dr Di­nen­dra Gill, Dr Craig Wil­liams and crit­i­cal care prac­ti­tioner Chris Con­nor – all part of the so-called “Fly­ing Doc­tors” crit­i­cal care team on board the air am­bu­lance.

They gave the dis­tressed mum life-sav­ing chest surgery in the car park of the school be­fore tak­ing her to Mor­ris­ton Hospi­tal in Swansea for pi­o­neer­ing surgery on her ribs.

“If they hadn’t been there and given me the vi­tal blood prod­ucts I needed I would have died,” she said.

“The paramedics were ex­cel­lent, but they couldn’t have done the things the on-board con­sul­tant did. The Fly­ing Doc­tors are sav­ing lives – and I’m proof of it.”

De­spite suf­fer­ing club – they’re a very friendly bunch!”.

The Ca­noe Club can be con­tacted by call­ing Emily on 07810 151305. ex­ten­sive in­juries and be­ing placed in an in­duced coma, Son­ali made a re­mark­able re­cov­ery which the med­i­cal staff said was partly down to her ex­cel­lent fit­ness lev­els. After 16 days in hospi­tal, 13 days in the in­ten­sive care unit, Son­ali was able to go home to re­cover.

“I have a few aches and pains now but noth­ing more than that. Hav­ing a bit of a sore back is a small price to pay for be­ing alive,” said the op­ti­cian.

She took on the Cardiff Half Marathon last Sun­day with the help of Team Bre­con Car­reg.

For ev­ery mile the team of 10 ran, Bre­con Car­reg do­nated £1.

Son­ali added: “The Wales Air Am­bu­lance are life-savers in ev­ery which way that term can be used.”

Mark Stevens, Wales Air Am­bu­lance fundrais­ing man­ager, said: “As a char­ity, we rely on sup­port and do­na­tions to raise the £6.5m needed ev­ery year to keep our four he­li­copters fly­ing. We would like to thank Son­ali and Bre­con Car­reg for their sup­port, which is help­ing to fund our mis­sions across Wales.” Weekly ses­sions for adults cost £5, with young­sters able to join a ju­nior ses­sion for only £3.60.

Son­ali Das Simp­son had life-sav­ing chest surgery in the car park at the scene of the June ac­ci­dent from the crit­i­cal care team on board Wales Air Am­bu­lance

Mem­bers of Maesteg Ca­noe Club dis­played their skills to Og­more MP Chris El­more

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