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Young English woman airlifted to Lisbon trauma hospital from Sagres beach

A young English woman was taken suddenly seriously ill when swimming with a friend at Sagres’ Tonel beach on Saturday afternoon.

Rescue services called for urgent back-up and 27-year-old Imogen Westropp was airlifted by helicopter to Lisbon’s São José trauma hospital, where she is still being cared for now.

Holly Craven, her elder sister, has been in touch with us over initial reports that Imogen had hit her head on the sandbed. These were incorrect. She had suffered a massive carotid artery stroke and is “in a very serious condition” in the hospital’s neurological ICU.

But Holly – whose parents run the Owl Story Bookshop in Lagos – said the family has “nothing but admiration” for the treatment her sister is receiving.

Holly told us the emergency services dealt with the initial call-out “so well” and that her sister’s flight was met by a “wonderful” nurse, who was actually off-duty at the time, but nonetheless came to the family’s assistance immediately “before handing over to the doctors”.

The hospital too is described as wonderful.

The family were keen to stress that although Imogen was swimming, being in the water had nothing to do with the accident.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com