Jo Brand and Doc Brown perform at Air Ambulance comedy fundraiser in Highgate
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
Tina Lazarus whose son Jacob was treated by medics after a horrific car crash is raising money for the lifesaving charity
Five Londoners every day are treated by the Air Ambulance team for traumatic injuries, from traffic accidents and stabbings to horrific falls.
Many, like Tina Lazarus' son Jacob, owe their lives to the service, which relies heavily on donations to stay in the air.
Lazarus, who runs health and safety training company Safe And Sound, has organised a fundraising comedy night Upstairs At The Gatehouse with all proceeds going to the Air Ambulance service.
Jo Brand, St John's Wood comic Sindhu Vee, Kilburn-raised rapper Doc Brown and compere Arthur Smith are "giving their time for almost nothing" says Tina, "which is fantastic."
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The November 17 gig is almost 13 years to the day since her car crash.
"I was living in Highgate and driving through East Finchley on the school run when my son was nine, and we had a really horrendous car crash. Even now I go cold remembering it.
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"It was parents' evening that night, my son was in the back reading a book and I had the dog in the boot. Then my airbag went off. It's like being in space, you lose all sense of time, but when I came to, I looked back and remember thinking Jacob had died. There was a huge head wound and no sign of any movement."
Lazarus works with paramedics who teach paediatric first aid and safety courses for schools local authorities and childcare providers, and her training kicked in.
"Of all the first aid courses I had seen, I remembered one bit of advice; to stay calm and take a deep breath, then I followed what they had taught me."
Jacob was cut from the car, and although it was too windy to send the helicopter, a trauma consultant and paramedic arrived on motorbikes and put him in an induced coma to control his vital signs, before taking him to the Royal London.
"They bring the hospital team to the roadside where they can do what they would in a hospital but without the wait," says Lazarus.
"People die because they don't get that expert medical intervention quickly."
She then endured a tense wait for Jacob to regain consciousness so they could assess the damage.
"Until he came round they didn't know if the brain was going to work, but he opened his eyes looked at me and said 'what about parents' evening?' I thought 'thank God he's with it.'"
Jacob, who will be taking photographs at the comedy night, has no memory of the accident. But apart from a scar and an aversion to learning to drive, he is fine.
Now based in Barnet, Safe and Sound have long supported the Air Ambulance charity and Lazarus says: "They get some NHS funding but are heavily reliant on public donations. Their service is priceless. There's a woman coming to the comedy night whose son fell through a roof and they saved his life. The more we can raise the better."
Tickets for the gig on November 17 cost £25. upstairsatthegatehouse.com.