A MOTORCYCLIST seriously injured after colliding with a lorry has thanked air ambulance medics who flew to her aid.

Denise Payne, from Howden-le-Wear, was riding along the A688, near Barnard Castle, during the early afternoon of Monday, May 12, when her motorbike careered into the path of an oncoming HGV after skidding on oil on the road.

The 41-year-old, who has been a biker for 17 years, suffered serious leg injuries in the accident.

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She was treated at the scene by paramedics from the Great North Air Ambulance Service before being airlifted to James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, for further treatment.

Mrs Payne underwent an operation on a dislocated ankle and spent two weeks in hospital.

A week after being discharged, she had to be readmitted after developing an infection in her knee.

Now, six weeks on from the accident, she is slowly starting to recover from her injuries.

Her leg remains in a cast and she uses crutches to get around.

Mrs Payne, who works as a design engineer at Haskel, in Sunderland, praised the air ambulance crew who helped her.

“As soon as I was told the air ambulance were coming I knew I would get to hospital so much more quickly.

“I was in horrendous pain.

“We would be lost without Great North Air Ambulance Service.

“I never thought I would need the service but I am so glad they were there.

“They are such an asset to the region and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart.”

Andy Dalton, the paramedic who attended the scene, said: “We were first on scene at Denise’s accident and we found that she had sustained a serious leg injury.

“We were able to administer advanced pain relief and treat her at the roadside before we got her to hospital quickly.

“We are delighted to hear she is recovering well and wish her all best.”

The GNAAS charity operates across the North-East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria and needs £4m every year to keep the service going.

For information on how to donate, visit greatnorthairambulance.co.uk.