Jenni has always loved horses; she was a riding instructor throughout her teenage years and worked hard to gain the A Levels she needed to secure a place at veterinary college. Jenni met her husband when they were 17 years old and they both went on to university to retrain to become doctors, specialising in paediatrics.
Once Jenni had graduated from medical school, she rediscovered her love for horses and started to ride again, this time competitively, going on to represent Britain as a 3-Day eventer.
On 23rd August 2013, Jenni was out galloping her award-winning mare when she needed the help of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance. Her life changed forever.
“It was about midday and nothing about the morning so far had felt out of the ordinary. We had been out on our usual gallops when my mare lost her footing and slipped on the grass. She fell with me underneath her, and as she got to her feet, she stood on my chest. The impact inflated my equestrian vest, protecting my chest and back in an instant and probably saved my life.”
The mare galloped homeward, leaving Jenni unconscious with a severe bleed and brain injury as a result of the accident.
Fortunately, the mare stopped at the gate of the gallops, at the bottom of a local GP’s garden. Sensing something wasn’t right, the GP called on her husband to run and find the rider, whilst she grabbed her stethoscope and mobile phone. Jenni’s bright fluorescent jacket helped the couple locate her. An initial assessment quickly showed that Jenni would need specialist care. The Air Ambulance was called and arrived quickly on scene.
“My severe head injury means that I remember nothing of the skill and care I received from the Critical Care Team on board, or anything in the 3 weeks after my accident. My recovery has been slow and painful, and after a long stay in hospital and subsequently a rehabilitation centre, I have learnt to walk again and am now pain free.”
Miraculously, Jenni has gone on to walk ultramarathons and even trekked to Everest Base Camp to celebrate her remarkable recovery.
Jenni had no idea HIOWAA was a charity and it wasn’t until leaving hospital following a check-up that she was approached by a HIOWAA volunteer.
“Overwhelmed by the kindness and care I received from the Critical Care Team on the day of my accident, I immediately signed up to HIOWAA’s regular giving campaign; Small Change Big Difference. It’s just a small way to say ‘thank you’ to Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance for saving my life.”