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London Marathon: Lambourn woman on the day the Thames Valley Air Ambulance saved her life - and why she wanted to give back

Ten years after they saved her life, a Lambourn woman taken on a marathon challenge in aid of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

Antonia Roskill took part in the London Marathon - her first marathon - and she finished in an impressive 4 hours 46 minutes, raising more than £3,500 in the process.

Antonia Roskill
Antonia Roskill

And after Sunday’s event, she has spoken about why she wanted to say thank you to those who saved her life that day back in July 2014.

Mrs Roskill dropped her three young children at a friend’s house and headed over to a nearby field where the family’s ponies were kept, alongside some other horses.

It was a normal, busy day - the family were in the middle of moving home and were about to go on a family holiday to the Isle of Wight.

She was walking through the field to get to her ponies at the far end, carrying a bucket with her, when she said she “felt a surge of pain like she had never experienced before”.

“It was a bolt from the blue,” she said. “The horse kicked me in the back with both hind legs. The pain was unbelievable.

“I was struggling to breathe. I thought I was going to die. I didn’t have my phone on me, but I knew I had to get help before it was too late.”

The force of the kick had flung her to the ground, where she tried to call for help to someone cutting their grass nearby, but to no avail.

Luckily someone then walked past and noticed her and immediately called 999, as well as the only landline number Antonia could remember, her mum.

Soon the Thames Valley Air Ambulance crew were on their way and Mrs Roskill remembers hearing the helicopter approach and feeling both relieved and frightened at the same time.

“I was so pleased that help was on its way, but I’m terrified of helicopters,” she added. “I started to get into a state of panic about what would happen next.”

But the crew calmed her down, gave her much needed pain relief and explained exactly what they were doing every step of the way.

She was taken to the John Radcliffe hospital, in Oxford, where she stayed for just over a week suffering from punctured lungs, several broken ribs and internal bruising.

Eventually she came out of hospital and the family were able to go on their pre-planned trip to the Isle of Wight, but it was a year before she made a full recovery.

“I don’t ride like I used to,” she added. “It’s knocked my confidence. If I’m on my feet near a loose horse, I can get very frightened. What happened will always be with me.”

She said she has always wanted to thank those who rescued her that day and the marathon proved a great way to try to do that.

“I never said goodbye,” she said. “I never said thank you. I wouldn’t even know who they were if I saw them in the street. But they saved me. Without them, I don’t think I would have made it through that day.

“I’ve always wanted to run a marathon and I’ve always wanted to say thank you to this lifesaving local charity. You quite literally never know when you will need their help.

“I didn’t think, when I set out on my own into the field that day, that my life would be in their hands.

“I’m pleased to be in the position I’m in now, where I’m able to take on this challenge, and I want to give something back. I don’t know what life would look like if it wasn’t for Thames Valley Air Ambulance.”

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