'We now live for our family' - South Shields couple's praise for air ambulance after rescue from serious crash

A South Shields couple have paid tribute to the hard work and dedication of the Great North Air Ambulance Service after they were rescued from a head-on collision.
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Terry and Margaret Haram, who are both 71, were airlifted to hospital after their car collided with a van as they returned from Center Parcs on October 24, 2016.

Mrs Haram, who suffered serious injuries in the crash, was told hospital staff feared her husband wouldn’t pull through following the devastating crash.

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“A van on the other side of the road was overtaking. I saw the van lift up and then it was on top of us,” the South Shields pensioner said.

Terry and Margaret HaramTerry and Margaret Haram
Terry and Margaret Haram

"I don’t know how long it was before I jumped out of the car and I shouted for people to help us.”

A passer-by called the emergency services and both North West Ambulance Service and the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) arrived on scene, alongside police and firefighters.

Mr Haram sustained serious nerve damage, two breaks in his femur, his tibia was smashed, one of his feet had an open fracture, he fractured several ribs, and his elbow had been sheared off so he lost his funny bone.

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At the time, Mrs Haram was told by hospital staff that they didn’t expect her husband to pull through.

Mr Haram spent 100 days in hospitalMr Haram spent 100 days in hospital
Mr Haram spent 100 days in hospital

Pictures show just some of the injuries Mr Haram sustained before he spent a total of 100 days recovering in hospital both at James Cook and the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle.

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The crash, which happened on the A66 near Temple Sowerby, left Mr Haram with life-changing injuries. He has limited use of his right hand and arm and now walks with a stick.

Mrs Haram continued: “I was first in the land ambulance not really knowing what was happening and I didn’t know that the air ambulance was coming. The next thing I knew GNAAS had taken over and I was given pain relief and then I remember Dr Theo Weston treating Terry.”

The crash left Mr Haram with life-changing injuries.The crash left Mr Haram with life-changing injuries.
The crash left Mr Haram with life-changing injuries.
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While the team were trying to get Mr Haram out of the car, Mrs Haram was airlifted to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough for further treatment.

She said: “I had major lacerations to my leg and tummy because the seatbelt had cut in. I was in pain in my chest, but I didn’t know what was wrong at the time. I ended up with fractured ribs and a fractured sternum.”

Mrs Haram was discharged from hospital after two days and her injuries healed within six weeks.

One of Mr Haram's many injuries.One of Mr Haram's many injuries.
One of Mr Haram's many injuries.

“We now live for our family, especially our four grandchildren,” she said.

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The couple have since written to the GNAAS team to thank them for their role in Mr Haram’s survival.

Mrs Haram added: “He wouldn’t be here without GNAAS, they are a fantastic service.”

GNAAS is continuing to fly through the Covid-19 crisis but has asked the public to continue its support in the face of the collapse of its community fundraising activities.

Please visit www.gnaas.com or call 01325 487263 for more information.

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