A horse rider overcame serious injuries and the death of her beloved animal to raise £6,120 for the air ambulance which flew to her aid.
Sarah Tyler, a cleaning business owner from Carlisle, suffered a broken pelvis, leg and facial injuries in the incident, which resulted in her being airlifted by the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).
The 36-year-old fell from her horse, Fuzzy Bear, at Warwick Horse Trials, at Warwick Hall near Carlisle, on July 15 last year.
Describing the incident, Mrs Tyler said: “I was riding the cross country phase of the trials event, he was performing very well, but he got to the second last fence and sadly suffered from a heart attack.
“We both fell to the ground and unfortunately my horse passed away next to me.”
Mrs Tyler had no recollection of the fall but just vague memories of being treated by the GNAAS aircrew and North West Ambulance Service paramedics.
She said: “I was talking a load of rubbish from the medication I was given whilst being treated, I remember the ground crew telling the aircrew that I was a 36-year-old lady, I stopped talking nonsense and told them ‘I’m not 36, I’m 35’.
“I was loaded on to a stretcher and I could feel some movement and a popping feeling where my pelvis was broken.”
She was flown to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI), Newcastle, in a flight that took around 20 minutes. The same journey from Carlisle to the RVI by road would have taken around one hour and ten minutes.
She stayed in the RVI for two weeks to be operated on and then received physiotherapy for her injuries.
Mrs Tyler said: “My recovery was slow, I was out of the saddle for three and a half months which wasn’t good as I’m an active person and it’s difficult for me to not do anything.”
During her recovery, Mrs Tyler decided to channel her energy into something positive and organised a fundraising ball in aid of GNAAS.
The event was held at the Crown & Mitre Hotel in Carlisle on March 19 and included a raffle, tombola, silent auction, prize draws and live entertainment from a magician.
The charity ball attracted a sell-out crowd of 250 people and in total the night raised a grand total of £6,120 for GNAAS, which she recently handed over to the aircrew at the charity’s base in Langwathby.
She said: “GNAAS is a fantastic service which is definitely needed by the general public. Although my injuries weren’t life threatening, I was extremely grateful for the treatment they gave me and the speed they got me to hospital.”