Crag fall pensioner thanks rescuers

A WOMAN has paid tribute to her rescuers after sustaining severe injuries in a fall from a Lakeland crag.

Marilyn Morris, 71, from Dormston, Worcestershire, was walking down Helm Crag with her family when she lost her footing.

She fell 15ft, sustaining multiple injuries and sparking a large-scale rescue operation in October 2020.

Speaking recently, Marilyn said: “I know the Lakes so well and I’ve been up there many times but I missed my footing and couldn’t save myself.

“I knew I had fractured my femur quite badly, and I also had facial injuries and a broken wrist.

“There were three amazing walkers who saw me and they stayed with me for the rest of the afternoon.”

After the walkers alerted the emergency services, the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) and the Langdale/Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team arrived on scene to assess Marilyn and begin to treat her injuries.

Dr Theo Weston MBE from GNAAS said: “The weather was not very good, it was breezy and intermittently raining but we managed to land a little further up the ridge from her in what was an really impressive bit of flying from our pilot.

“She was clearly being very brave because she was in a lot of pain from her fractured leg but we were able to give her some strong painkillers to help while we applied a leg splint and packaged her onto the stretcher.

“The mountain rescue team that attended with us were incredibly helpful and did a great job getting her sorted.”

Marilyn added: “Theo was absolutely outstanding in looking after me. I had on the right equipment which I think helped tremendously, proper walking boots, proper walking jacket, you name it I had it.”

Due to the long walk uphill to GNAAS’ helicopter, a journey which was likely to be uncomfortable for Marilyn, she was winched by a coastguard helicopter, which had arrived from Caernarfon, and taken to Royal Preston Hospital.

Marilyn spent two weeks in the high dependency unit and had plates fitted in her wrist and femur. She is still recovering from her injuries but is able to walk half a mile a day with one crutch.

She said: “It was incredibly traumatic and I still get flashbacks, but I’m doing okay now. I just say if it had to happen it couldn’t have been managed better or more safely, from the walkers to the mountain rescue to the air ambulance, they were great.

“GNAAS are absolutely amazing. It’s all funded by donations and I just hope people recognise what a wonderful service it is and that they take care on the mountains.

“The equipment the team carry is staggering, even the shelter they threw over me was great. Having the right equipment and right care on the mountain made all the difference.”

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