A HORSE BREEDER who shattered her pelvis after being thrown off her horse has thanked the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) for saving her life.
Gina Exley, 50, was riding her horse, Sapphire’s Magic, in Bedale on December 4, 2015, and was almost home when the horse is thought to have slipped, causing her to fall off.
The incident left her in a life-threatening condition with a smashed pelvis. She was alone when the incident happened and as well as being badly injured was also confused and disorientated.
Despite this, the mother-of-two managed to ring the emergency services for help, which ultimately saved her life.
GNAAS attended the scene, however she cannot recall anything from the incident, or even calling for help.
Mrs Exley said: “I assume that my horse slipped and she landed on me, but I’ll never know for sure what happened that day.
“Apparently I made the 999 call, but I can’t remember anything from riding my horse back home up until after my operation. I wish I could remember being in the helicopter as I would have loved seeing the views.”
Mrs Exley, who has been riding horses since she was eight, was taken to James Cook University Hospital and had to undergo major surgery on her pelvis.
She was unable to bear weight on her legs for several months and was confined to a wheelchair until May 2016.
Eventually Mrs Exley was able to get out of the chair and use walking sticks to support her body and by July 2016 she was back on a horse riding again.
Mrs Exley said: “I’ve currently got two metal screws holding the back of my hips together which crossover at the bottom of my spine, but they don’t cause any discomfort.
“Once I could walk again, I immediately wanted to ride again. So the accident hasn’t deterred me from getting on a horse.
“GNAAS provide a wonderful service and are the best thing sliced bread. They were absolutely fantastic and got me to hospital really quickly. If it wasn’t for them I don’t think I would be here, so I can’t praise them enough.”
After meeting Mrs Exley when she visited GNAAS’ Durham Tees Valley Base, aircrew doctor Phil Godfrey said: “I remember clearly what happened that day. Gina had suffered a serious pelvic injury, so we took her to hospital as fast as we could.
“It’s good to see her back on her feet and learn that she’s riding horses again.”