A GRANDMOTHER who decided to visit the Lakes instead of holidaying abroad ended up in an air ambulance after falling while attempting to complete the Wainwrights.
Joan Taylor, who broke her leg after falling on Calf Crag, has paid tribute to the Cumbrian emergency services who came to help her in the aftermath of the incident, on 22 December last year.
Joan, 71, was supposed to be in Spain with her husband Jonathan, but with further COVID restrictions looming at the time, they decided to play it safe by staying in England.
The grandmother-of-five said: “Because we were packed we decided to walk the last of the Wainwrights after already completing most of them.
“We have a motorhome and weren’t planning on meeting anyone, so we thought we’d do these four Wainwrights, a dead easy walk, and still be keeping ourselves safe.”
The couple, from Keighley, were on top of Calf Crag, near Grasmere, and just about to reach the cairn, when Joan slipped.
She said: “There was a flat stone and I put my stick on it and thought ‘that’s not slippy’, I put my boot on it but I didn’t see there was black ice and fell on my side and bounced. I stood up and I couldn’t put my left foot forward, so I crawled up to where it was flat and Jonathan phoned 999.”
Our critical care team flew to the scene and assessed Joan, before the Langdale/Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team arrived.
Joan said: “It took about 15 minutes for GNAAS to arrive after ringing, and they had to manoeuvre a bit, but there was a flat area nearby, so they didn’t have to carry me far. I must admit I was in awe of GNAAS.
“It was a good response and they put me at ease and made me feel safe and ok.”
Joan had broken the top of her femur so she was airlifted down to the car park where an ambulance from the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) was waiting and she was taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary by an NWAS road crew.
Meanwhile the mountain rescue team saved Jonathan a long journey by driving him down to his vehicle so he could get to the hospital in good time, which he was thankful for.
Joan underwent an operation on Christmas Eve, meaning she spent Christmas day in hospital, however she was discharged the following day after successfully climbing the hospital’s stairs.
After the incident the couple looked up GNAAS online and decided to support them after finding out about the work they do in the region.
Joan said: “GNAAS were so professional and efficient and made me feel comfortable and not apprehensive. When Jonathan went on the website, we found out more about GNAAS and decided to sign up to the lottery.”
The couple have since completed the Wainwrights, with the last one being Dow Crag exactly six months after the incident.
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