Samantha, known to her loved ones as Sammi, is 31 years old and has always been a keen horse rider, riding since the age of four and owning horses for much the same time. On the day of her accident, Sammi was out on her aunt’s horse, Norman, when she fell and needed the specialist skills and equipment of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance Critical Care Team. Below she tells her story.
Norman and I had taken a nice leisurely ride along some of the Island roads, but sensing he still had a lot of energy to burn, I seized the opportunity to take him for a good old gallop across some of the land we own in Gurnard.
As we neared the bottom of the field, Norman became excited at the thought of what lay ahead and began to pull away from me, breaking into a canter. Not wanting to fall behind, I pushed with him into the canter, but noticed my saddle begin to slip. As I tried to straighten up, Norman bolted forward.
The sudden movement caused me to fly sideways out of the saddle, bouncing twice and hitting both my hip and my head. The fall was enough to cause me a lot of discomfort, but not knock me out, leaving me with a great memory of everything that happened on the day.
Being on my own, my first thought was to call my dad, a volunteer First Responder and emergency vehicle operative. Unfortunately there was no answer. My next call was to my aunt, whose horse I was riding, and finally my partner. Still no answer!
I dialled 999, on my own and in a lot of pain, in a cold, wet and muddy field.
Within five minutes an ambulance arrived, on blues and twos, closely followed by my dad and aunt.
I was told by the paramedic on scene that, due to the difficult location I was in, the Air Ambulance had been called and a backup 4×4 ambulance was on its way.
My dad and aunt stuck by my side the whole time and did a great job keeping me calm and reassured.
Luckily, the field I was in was the perfect landing area for the Air Ambulance and they were able to land a mere 30 yards away from us. It was then that I knew everything was going to be okay.
The Air Ambulance Critical Care Team were amazing and got to work straight away, keeping me informed of everything they were doing. It was a cold day and they wrapped me up in a thermal blanket and popped a lovely pink hat on my head- an unusual souvenir!
I was fortunate not to have to be taken to the hospital by air, but the care I was given went beyond what I could ever imagine. Without the pain relief they administered I’m sure my journey to hospital may not have been such a smooth ride.
I hadn’t sustained any serious injuries, just some painful bruising to my muscles, and after some visits to the chiropractor and a break from the saddle for a month, I was raring to go again.
I can honestly say that I have never felt so safe and looked after as I did when the Critical Care Team arrived and I would like to say a huge thank you to all that helped me that day.