In July this year (2019), Janet Scott went out for what was supposed to be a brief ride on her horse with her friend joining her on foot. They had gone with the intention of being back within an hour for lunch.

However, while riding on the moor in Withypool, Janet found herself surrounded by cows along a narrow path, who became unusually agitated and spooked her horse. The horse suddenly took off and she found herself heading in one direction with the horse heading in another.

While she was losing her seat on her horse Janet remembers thinking about protecting her face, so she put her hands out as she landed on her side causing her wrists and hip to take most of the impact.

Trying to find signal

With that part of the moors having such limited mobile phone service, it was lucky that Janet managed to secure just signal enough to call 999 before it cut out again. Thankfully, when the Air Ambulance arrived her friend was able to keep the horse out of the way, since Janet herself was unable to move, her leg appearing to stick out at an unusual angle.

When the crew first encountered her, Janet was in shock and she believed she had only sprained her wrist and was relatively uninjured despite being unable to move. The crew quickly informed her that her injuries appeared to be much more significant.

Despite was in a distressed state, but felt reassured by the team that attended her.

The Air Ambulance team, paramedics John and Liam and pilot Steve, kept me informed about everything that was going on and what they were doing. Although I was scared and upset, they reassured me the whole time and they really were a great comfort.

Arriving at the Hospital

Janet was airlifted to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton where she discovered she was need an urgent hip replacement and surgery on her two broken wrists. The following day she underwent her hip operation and remained in hospital for another eight days.

Two days after leaving hospital Janet returned once more to undergo the surgery which left her with a plate in her right wrist and wires in her left.

Since then Janet has been recovering well, despite it being initially challenging to be mobile following her hip replacement because of her inability to use crutches due to her broken wrists. This forced Janet to walk sooner than a patient usually would. Now she is getting on well with her new hip, has had the cast removed from her right wrist and is awaiting the imminent removal of the left cast.

Janet reflects on the incident saying:

It makes you realise just how much you need a service like Devon Air Ambulance, especially in rural and hard-to-reach areas. I don’t know what I would have done without them.

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