When Lynda and her husband decided to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary on Spitbank Fort in the Solent, they had no idea it would result in the dramatic rescue scenes that were about to unfold.
In August 2016 Lynda Khan and her husband were due to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary and decided to mark the milestone with a little bit of luxury, and booked an overnight stay on Spitbank Fort in the Solent.
On the Monday morning following breakfast, Lynda was returning to her room, when she suffered an unexpected seizure, which caused her to fall backwards onto a granite floor fracturing her skull, resulting in a severe traumatic brain injury.
The Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS) was called and HM Coastguard helicopter which, very fortunately, was already airborne and able to reach her quickly.
GAFIRS coxswain Brian Pack said: ‘I placed four of my crew members on the fort to assist with the medical care of the casualty. After assessment she was placed in the helicopter’s basket stretcher and winched up to be taken as quickly as possible to hospital.’
Gosport’s Independent Lifeboat, the Joan Dora Fuller, transferred Lynda's husband back to shore at Stokes Bay and the service used its mobile unit to take him to the hospital
"These 2 emergency services worked together to stabilise me before I was winched into the helicopter and airlifted to Queen Alexandra hospital. There, my condition was assessed as being so severe, so I had to be blue-lighted to the Wessex Neurological Centre for emergency treatment".
Lynda sustained multiple injuries including a fractured skull, extradura haemorrhage, subarachnoid haemorrhage, both eye orbits broken and severed olfactory filaments.
"I was on the operating table by 3.20pm that day, and following lifesaving surgery, I was recovering in the intensive care unit. I didn’t come round until the Wednesday and I still have no memory of what happened after I left the breakfast table that morning".
Thanks to the expertise of the surgeons, nurses and physiotherapists at The Wessex Neurological Centre, Lynda now lives a full and active life. Since her recovery she has taken up skiing again after 28 years, and has just completed a 2.5km swim to raise funds for Smile4Wessex to thank the staff for the excellent care and rehabilitation she received.