A woman who was left fighting for her life after a horrific road traffic collision in County Durham has been reunited with the doctor who came to her aid.

Samantha Hall, 26, from Chilton, County Durham was seriously injured after a two-vehicle crash on the A167 near Newton Aycliffe on 15 July 2019.

At the time, the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) dispatched two double-crewed ambulances, a clinical care ambulance, two Hazardous Area Response Teams, a rapid response vehicle and both helicopters from the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

The teams worked together to assess and treat both Miss Hall and the other driver’s injuries.

Read more: Man kidnapped and robbed while delivering newspapers in Shildon

Chris Smith, a doctor at GNAAS said: “When we arrived on scene Sam was still trapped in her vehicle and was seriously injured. After she was extracted, her condition deteriorated, and she needed urgent advanced treatment on scene otherwise she wasn’t going to survive.

“We gave her a blood transfusion and put her into a medically induced coma, which means we took over her breathing by placing her on a ventilator to prevent any potential brain injury from getting worse, before airlifting her to hospital in seven minutes.”

The Northern Echo: Samantha's leg after the incident. Picture: GNAASamantha's leg after the incident. Picture: GNAA (Image: a)

Miss Hall was flown to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough where she stayed for nearly three months while recovering from her injuries.

She said: “All the right-hand side was injured, I broke my tibia, had fibula fractures, oblique fractures, I had an x-cage on my leg, abdominal lacerations, my pelvis had to be rebuilt with screws and bolts and I had a small fracture in my neck.

The Northern Echo: Samantha and her family. Picture: GNAASamantha and her family. Picture: GNAA (Image: a)

“I’ve got bits of shrapnel from the car in my arm, you can actually feel it, it’s gross. My knee was also split open, there was no break or fracture, but there’s a big scar around my knee. It’s the one scar I’ve not been able to really come to terms with, I’m alright with the rest now, it’s just that one.”

During her time in hospital Miss Hall, who is a big fan of the band McFly, had to relearn to walk again, and as an incentive to get her to move, tickets to a McFly show were dangled in front of her during her physio sessions and she had to try and grab them.

The Northern Echo: Dr Chris Smith speaking to Sam Hall. Picture: GNAADr Chris Smith speaking to Sam Hall. Picture: GNAA (Image: a)

She also received vital support from her friend Kim, who she has known for 13 years, as well as Kim’s children.

“Not only did Kim help me get back on my feet, she was a huge help to my parents and sister, especially my mam. I can't thank her or the girls enough.”

After being discharged Miss Hall was able to get a mobility car and start driving again and return to her two jobs, one of which is a drama coach for 7–10-year-olds.

The Northern Echo: Sam Hall in the ICU. Picture: GNAASam Hall in the ICU. Picture: GNAA (Image: a)

She’s also due to be married next year and her fiancé Michael Hymers, along with her parents and sister recently met Dr Smith three years later to personally thank him for helping to save Miss Hall’s life.

Miss Hall’s mother Anne Hall said: “Chris was the guy who came to see me in the waiting room, and I remember him sitting and talking to me and saying she’s in the right place. He’s that person who has been there from the very beginning, so to see him again has given us a bit of closure.

Read next:

If you want to read more great stories, why not subscribe to your Northern Echo for as little as £1.25 a week. Click here