The sisters of a Richmond woman who survived a serious road traffic collision are running eight consecutive half marathons to raise money for the charities that helped her after the accident. 

Emily Holmes, 30, and Lottie Bradshaw, 28, aim to complete the half marathons at the start of September with the final one being the Great North Run, which takes place on September 10.

The duo have chosen to run the eight races to represent the eight days that their sister Tilly Raper, 20, was in a coma after she was seriously injured in a crash in March last year.

Tilly, from Richmond, was a passenger in her friend’s car and they were travelling on the B6275, near Darlington, when they were involved in a collision with another vehicle.

Read more: Man threatened to kill Chilton neighbour after boiler row

The Northern Echo: Tilly Raper with paramedic Jemma Kirby and Dr Mike Harrison.

The pair had become trapped in the car, and had to be freed by firefighters from County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service removed the roof of the car. 

Police officers from Durham Constabulary closed the road in both directions and the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) and Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) responded to the scene to treat those injured in the crash.

Tilly had suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as a fractured pelvis, lacerations to her spleen and contusions on her lungs.

She was given blood at the scene and put into a medically induced coma by the critical care team from Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) before being transported to James Cook University Hospital by North East Ambulance Services road crew.

Read more: Art exhibit launched to oppose Darlington's Skerningham plan

The Northern Echo: Lottie Bradshaw, Tilly Raper, and Emily Holmes. Lottie Bradshaw, Tilly Raper, and Emily Holmes. (Image: GNAAS)

She remained in a coma for eight days and stayed in hospital for three months before continuing her recovery at home.

She said: “My recovery is going in the right direction, but it’s not been easy at all, especially with my head injury.

"Looking so physically well and sounding so well is hard because people can’t see what I struggle with day to day, but I’m going in the right direction.”

Tilly has since been reunited with the teams who helped her at the scene of the crash.

She said: “Meeting the team was an amazing opportunity which I was so lucky to experience. At the time it really felt like the closing of a chapter, like the last thing I had to do.”

The Northern Echo: Lucy Rawlins, Lottie Bradshaw, Tilly Raper, and Emily Holmes. Lucy Rawlins, Lottie Bradshaw, Tilly Raper, and Emily Holmes. (Image: GNAAS)

To show their appreciation for the charities that have helped Tilly, sisters Emily and Lottie have decided to raise money for GNAAS and Headway by running eight half marathons over eight consecutive days, finishing with the Great North Run.

Emily said: “Seeing someone who you love in a coma is horrendous, and not knowing what will happen is even worse. Tilly has had an amazing recovery which is mainly down to her positivity and determination, but we wanted to raise money for two of the charities that supported Tilly the most.

It was actually Lottie's idea that we run eight half marathons to represent the eight days that Tilly spent in a coma."

Lottie added: “You feel pretty helpless when someone you love is injured so dramatically. This is our way of showing our support and love for Tilly, and this amazing journey she has been on.

"Although it will be a challenge it is nothing compared to what Tilly has gone through over the past 17 months and we are so proud of how far she has come.”

The two sisters, who are both originally from Richmond, have run half marathons in the past, with Lottie also completing a marathon, but they’ve never competed in them consecutively before.

Tilly said: “I think what they are doing is absolutely amazing and so challenging, it’s all for such important causes with both charities being so important to us. 

“With Headway, it’s so important to me that these brain injury charities get the recognition they deserve for the work they do to not only create more awareness about brain injuries but to help those who are recovering from their own brain injuries.

Read more: 

“And of course, GNAAS is so important and close to home for me as I was treated by the air ambulance on the scene of my accident, and as GNAAS are charity funded it was important to me that we raised money for them.” 

Lottie and Emily have set up separate fundraising pages for the charities and hope to raise £1,000 for both of them.

To sponsor the sisters visit: and