Published: 00:01, 03 May 2014
A woman who suffers from life-threatening seizures brought on by stress, had to be cut free from her car after a crash on a busy Maidstone road.
Now her husband has praised the emergency service staff who helped to keep her calm throughout the terrifying ordeal.
Roz Ottewill, 64, of Betsham Road, had to be rescued by firefighters after a smash on Sutton Road.
She only had the new Ford Fiesta for two hours, a courtesy car which had been given to the family while theirs was repaired.
The accident happened while she was stopped at traffic lights on Sutton Road, near Morrison’s supermarket.
But while anyone would be nervous faced with firefighters wielding hydraulic cutters, for Roz the situation was much more dangerous.
She suffers from dissociative seizures, triggered by stress or upset, and which can be life-threatening.
They are the body’s way of hiding or repressing the memory of traumatic events, and cause her to become unresponsive and her pulse to slow for minutes at a time.
While the firefighters were freeing her from the wreckage, one police officer sat with her, holding her hand and calming her, while another sat in the back seat, holding her head to prevent injuries.
Husband Alan, 62, was forced to watch. He said: “I got a phone call from her screaming.
“The worst bit was when they put the tarpaulin over her head to shield her from the glass, leaving her in the dark and alone, because she also suffers from claustrophobia.
“Nothing was too much for them or the firefighters from Red Watch. They all went above and beyond the call of duty" - Alan Ottewill
“We watch all the police documentaries on TV but you don’t see the other side of them, with officers sitting there for 45 minutes with someone, holding their hand and calming them down.
“Nothing was too much for them or the firefighters from Red Watch. They all went above and beyond the call of duty.”
Roz was taken to William Harvey Hospital in Ashford with a cracked sternum, whiplash and concussion and discharged a day later.
She added: “I am bruised but OK.
“I would like to thank all the people who helped me.”
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