A WOMAN who was thrown off her horse and broke her back has thanked the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) who came to her aid.
Debbie Tomlinson, 44, from Bishop Auckland, was riding her horse, Echo, in Spennymoor on April 14 when the horse started bucking, causing her to fall off.
She said: “I’d been out for a normal walk as usual and there was a big pool of water my horse didn’t want to go through so she decided to buck. I told her off and again she had a massive buck and I landed on her hindquarters. Then she bucked and I went soaring up in the air and I fell and landed in a seating position on the concrete. As soon as I landed I knew I had broken my back because I felt something break.”
Luckily Mrs Tomlinson’s husband Kev was walking alongside her at the time of the incident and was able to ring the emergency services to ask for their help.
Both the North East Ambulance Service and the GNAAS paramedic and doctor team arrived at the scene and assessed and treated Mrs Tomlinson’s back injury, which turned out to be a broken l4 vertebra and sacrum bone.
The mother-of-two, who has been riding horses since she was six, was airlifted to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough in ten minutes where she received further treatment.
Mrs Tomlinson was able to leave hospital the following day and took a month off work to focus on her recovery, including carrying out physiotherapy in order to help the healing process.
Speaking about the incident, she said: “GNAAS are really good from what I could remember. They kept me calm and talked me through everything and gave me reassurance. They are brilliant, an absolute godsend.”
Despite the incident, Mrs Tomlinson said that she has not been put off horse riding and will be back riding Echo soon.
To support GNAAS and its doctor-led trauma teams, please visit the charity’s website at www.gnaas.com or call 01325-487263. Last year, it needed to raise £5.1m to survive.