Teen skydives to thank team who saved her life

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A TEENAGER who was in a coma for five weeks following a horrific car crash last year, is to take part in a skydive to help raise money for those who saved her life.

Natasha Griffiths, 18, was airlifted to the Royal London Hospital after the car she was a passenger in struck a tree in Marley Lane, Battle, on January 28 2010.

Natasha’s injuries, which included internal bleeding, a smashed pelvis and many broken bones, were so severe, doctors warned her family she may not survive the night.

Now, nearly 18 months after the near-fatal crash, Natasha is preparing to take part in a parachute jump to raise money for the Sussex Air Ambulance.

She will be joined by mum Kirsty Graves, 35, and grandmother Carol Graves, 61, for the skydive at Headcorn, Kent, on June 17.

Natasha, of Coronation Gardens, Salehurst, said: “I am doing a skydive to raise money for the air ambulance, as they are only based on donations.

“If it wasn’t for them, then I truly wouldn’t be here today.”

After she was cut out of the wreckage of the car, Natasha was flown from Battle to London in just six minutes.

She had sustained 11 broken ribs, a broken wrist, arm, leg, ankle and finger, all of which required a number of metal pins.

Natasha also suffered from internal bleeding as her pelvis had been smashed in the crash.

She said: “They did not think I was going to survive through the night, then when I did they did not think I was going to survive the week.

“I was not released from hospital until the end of April last year, then I had to learn to walk again.”

As a result of the crash, one of Natasha’s legs is an inch shorter than the other and she must take pills for the rest of her life as her immune system has been compromised through the damage caused to her spleen.

Because of the damage to her pelvis, Natasha will need to undergo tests to determine whether she will be able to carry babies later in life.

The damage to her pelvis was so extensive, she was unable to walk for some time and was forced to use a wheelchair.

Natasha said: “That was quite difficult.

“It was like being a baby again and learning it all again.

“I have brothers and sisters and because I’m the oldest, I like to play with my younger brother and I could not do it.”

Sometimes Natasha still has to use a wheelchair and sticks to move around.

But despite all that has happened to her, Natasha is determined to realise her dream of becoming a physiotherapist.

She is due to start a course in health and social care at Sussex South Coast College Hastings in September and hopes to continue her studies at university.

Speaking about her skydive, Natasha said: “I have never done anything like this before.

“I just thought it’s a great way to get lots of money because I think people will sponsor me if I was doing something serious.”

Natasha hopes to raise at least £250 and her grandmother is also hoping to raise some funds herself.

The family has already donated £500 to Sussex Air Ambulance after Natasha was paid by Take A Break magazine to tell the story of her miraculous survival.

Natasha said: “I would not be here without the air ambulance

“If I had been taken to London by land ambulance, it would have taken hours.”

The former Claverham Community College pupil added: “I would like to thank everyone who helped me through the whole incident.”

Anyone who would like to sponsor Natasha should go online and visit www.justgiving.com/Natasha-Griffiths1