A woman who suffered traumatic injuries when she was thrown off her horse has raised almost £1,500 for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) after they came to her aid.
Hayley Nancarrow, 22, from Haltwhistle, Northumberland, was horse riding with her boyfriend’s mother, Ruth Webb, 52, along the South Tyne Trail on November 27, 2016, when her horse unexpectedly threw her off.
The mother-of-one landed on her head, causing a concussion, and suffered lacerations to her spleen and contusions on her lungs.
After treatment on scene, she was flown by GNAAS to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle where she spent a week recovering.
Miss Nancarrow has no recollection of the fall and can only remember waking up in intensive care.
She said: “I don’t know what caused my horse to throw me off, I might have accidentally hurt it, or possibly the younger horse that Ruth was on had gotten too close to my horse’s bottom, causing it to bronc, but honestly I have no idea.”
Mrs Webb said: “We were turning round on the trail when Hayley’s horse shot off, and then I fell off my horse and plummeted to the ground, so I couldn’t quite see what had happened. I then noticed Hayley on the edge of track and ran towards her.
“She just laid there on the ground and I started welling up because I thought she was dead. Luckily this was not the case, and GNAAS as well as the other emergency services that helped us were absolutely fantastic.”
Miss Nancarrow recovered from her injuries, but she now attends physiotherapy as she has no muscle tone in her back or stomach and needs to build her core strength.
A couple of weeks after the incident, Miss Nancarrow’s parents were marking the one-year anniversary of their pub, Wallace Arms, re-opening, so she suggested turning the celebratory occasion into a fundraiser for GNAAS.
The event featured live music, cocktails and a raffle, and they managed to raise £800.
Since then they have hosted another fundraiser at the pub, with Shetland pony rides and falconry experiences offered throughout the day, followed by a music night and a raffle.
In total they have raised £1,466.42, and they continue to support GNAAS by having a collection box on display in the pub.
Miss Nancarrow said: “GNAAS were brilliant, if they hadn’t of come so quick, god knows what might have happened to me. They were there in less than half an hour of the call and manged to airlift me from a field which was nearby.
“I haven’t managed to get back on a horse just yet, but in time I’ll start riding again.”
GNAAS is reliant on public donations to survive. Last year, the service cost around £5m to run, and flew 853 missions across the North-East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria.