Woman's big thank-you follows dramatic rescue

A disabled woman who fell into a big ditch has piled on the praise for the emergency services who came to her rescue.

Debbie French, of Selsey, was taking her dog for a walk on September 13, when she fell into the ditch near Park Lane and was unable to get out.

Ms French, 49, was in her electric buggy and was making her way towards Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve, cutting through Drift Road and using the country lanes nearby.

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The accident happened as she she tried to turn around to head back home.

The ordeal lasted three hours.

Her partly-trained guide dog Abbie tried to help her up but her efforts were to no avail.

Luckily, a resident who was walking his dogs spotted Ms French and called the emergency services.

A fire engine, police car and emergency helicopter all came to her aid.

She was then airlifted to St Richard's Hospital suffering from lower back pain.

"I tried to get up and realised I couldn't. I just burst into tears," said Ms French, of Robinson Close.

"I can't thank Chris the paramedic enough for jumping down into the ditch to help and keeping me calm while I was trapped there.

"I also want to thank the gentleman walking his dogs who called for help, my neighbours Lee and Steve for coming out to my aid and staying the whole three hours, and also the emergency helicopter crew who took me to hospital.

"Thank you seems such a small word for such a wonderful team of people.

"I am one very grateful disabled lady, who will stick to tarmac from now on."

A South East Coast Ambulance Service spokesman said: "This

emergency call involved a great deal of teamwork between the emergency services and good information being provided by the caller at the scene, in order to quickly locate the patient and provide the necessary medical attention.

"It's always a pleasure to hear that a patient is especially grateful for the treatment and help they've received."

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