Margaret Anne Haigh (née Mitchell)BMJ 2007; 334 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39155.700683.BE (Published 29 March 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:701
- Fiona Haigh
Margaret Haigh had an unconventional yet distinguished medical career.
While at work at the London Ambulance Service on the 28 February 1975, news came of an underground train crash at Moorgate station. The train had passed the platform at speed and crashed into a short blind ending tunnel. Margaret joined her ambulance crews to assist the rescue of the trapped and injured in horrific, claustrophobic conditions: temperatures were over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and the air was poor. Passengers alive and dead were trapped in the crushed front carriages. In spite of the dreadful conditions, Margaret then spent a further four days helping to coordinate the recovery of the dead, 43 in total. There was never any explanation why the driver did not stop, but the crash did bring about new rules and technology to prevent a repeat crash.
Margaret was awarded an MBE in the Queen's birthday honours that year, the citation being “for gallantry”. She was justly proud, but felt the award was for all ambulance personnel who were at Moorgate. On the day of her autumn investiture she and other Moorgate heroes had a private audience with the Queen, before receiving their honours. Margaret undoubtedly suffered post-traumatic stress disorder with recurring nightmares but with the support of her family and colleagues was able to cope at work and at home.
Margaret was born in Paddington, London, …