In 2012, Suzanne Ratajova was the victim of a cruel, random attack: a man on a bike punched her three times in the face, knocking her unconscious before she fell backwards and cracked her skull on the pavement. She explains why she’s supporting our Support Life Appeal, to transform the way we treat our most critically ill and injured patients in a world-class new Critical Care Centre
‘I was walking to my home in Herne Hill after a night out. The next thing I knew, I was in hospital, with no memory of what had happened.
‘I couldn’t talk and I couldn’t move – but somehow my brain didn’t question that. I saw my family around my bed and was thinking they’d come to a party, because my dad had never been to the UK.
‘I had emergency surgery lasting five hours and was given 50-50 chance of making it through – I was extremely lucky to do so.
‘I remember having very vivid dreams while I was in the Critical Care Unit – I thought one of the nurses was an old friend from University. I left hospital after a few weeks, but I developed a bone-flap infection accompanied with severe headaches. I ended up having more surgery to remove the bone-flap and replace it with a titanium plate.’
‘I cannot ever repay the doctors for saving my life, and fundraising is the very least I can do for them, the hospital, the doctors and nurses, my family and all those who were by my side on the way back to normality.
‘I supported King’s Time is Life Appeal, to help build a helipad at King’s. I abseiled down Golden Jubilee Wing and raised more than £800. I’ve also helped out at fundraising events, sold raffle tickets and donated £600 through a Christmas auction. Fundraising is a little thank you from me. Now the helipad is built, I am very proud to think that I played a small part in the construction project.
‘I went through an unexpected and very unpleasant incident but I was very lucky in my unlucky experience that King’s College Hospital was just round the corner. I would like everyone to know what an excellent and professional place the hospital is.’
If you’ve been inspired by Suzanne’s story, find out how you can donate to King’s Support Life Appeal.