An anniversary I will never forget | This Month’s Thoughts
It’s often difficult to remember exactly what happened last week, or what we had for dinner yesterday. But birthdays and anniversaries provide a marker in the sand for us to look back and say: “remember when?” and “look how much has changed”.
For me, a particular day in August provides that point for reflection. This year, it will be ten years since the sunny bank holiday weekend when I was crushed underneath my horse during a polo match, aged just 17.
It was the final match of a weekend tournament when I rode out on my second horse of the day: Kite. During a busy moment, Kite got caught in the back legs of another horse and lost her footing. She tripped and fell to the ground, with me still in the saddle.
I wasn’t thrown clear. Instead, we slowly toppled together. My hat came loose before I hit the ground, my head hit the floor and then the huge weight of the horse fell on top of me. With horrified spectators including my Mum watching on, I lost consciousness. My feet were still in the stirrups and my hands in the reins, as Kite desperately tried to shake me off and get to her feet. I had stopped breathing.
There was a paramedic on site for the match, but the seriousness of the accident meant that soon the Thames Valley Air Ambulance was on its way. As soon as the helicopter arrived, the crew performed an immediate chest drain on me. I had broken all the ribs down one side of my body. One rib had punctured my lung and one had punctured my liver. I was airlifted to the John Radcliffe and remained in intensive care for nine days.
By supporting this community charity, you can give people like me the very best chance of making it through the hardest day of their lives
Since 2018, Thames Valley Air Ambulance crews have delivered critical care to 99 horse riders like me, giving them the best chance of survival and recovery when the worst happens. For these injured riders, the pain relief and procedures that Thames Valley Air Ambulance offers over and above a regular ambulance can make all the difference.
A quarter of all incidents (25) happened during the months of May and June, a busy time for horse riders and polo players. The charity has released these figures as they launch their Summer Raffle, which I am proud to be the face of this year.
I still find it emotional to recall that day ten years ago. I think of that little person lying in the hospital. When we were just told to take it hour by hour. But life is very different now: I have just finished my teacher training and am getting ready to start a new job at a local school. I’m also currently busy planning my wedding to my fiancé, Ben. Without Thames Valley Air Ambulance, it could have been a very different story.
By supporting this community charity, you can give people like me the very best chance of making it through the hardest day of their lives. When I had my fall, I didn’t know if anyone would be there to rescue me. Thanks to people like you, Thames Valley Air Ambulance answered that call and gave me an anniversary I will never forget.
Join the community by signing up and keep up to date with news and events.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
These cookies remember choices you have made on our website in order to improve your experience. This could include your username, language or the region you are in. The information these cookies collect may be anonymised and only apply to your browsing activity on our website.
This cookie monitors which event pages the user has visited, in order to provide them a list of recently visited event pages. This cookie is only used to improve the user's experience of our website.
This cookie monitors which web stories the user has read, in order to provide them a list of recently read stories. This cookie is only used to improve the user's experience of our website.
These cookies collect information about how you use our website, for example which pages you most frequently visit, or if you receive error messages. These cookies don’t collect any information that could identify a visitor. The information collected by these cookies is aggregated and therefore anonymous. They are only used to improve how our website works.
This cookie is installed by Google Analytics. The cookie is used to calculate visitor, session, campaign data and keep track of site usage for the site's analytics report. The cookies store information anonymously and assign a randomly generated number to identify unique visitors.
This cookie is used by Google Tag Manager to store and track website conversions.
This cookie is installed by Google Analytics. The cookie is used to store information of how visitors use a website and helps in creating an analytics report of how the wbsite is doing. The data collected including the number visitors, the source where they have come from, and the pages viisted in an anonymous form.
This cookie is used by Hotjar to detect the first pageview session of a user. This is a True/False flag set by the cookie.
This is set by Hotjar to identify a new user’s first session. It stores a true/false value, indicating whether this was the first time Hotjar saw this user. It is used by Recording filters to identify new user sessions.
This cookie is set by Hotjar. This cookie is set when the customer first lands on a page with the Hotjar script. It is used to persist the random user ID, unique to that site on the browser. This ensures that behavior in subsequent visits to the same site will be attributed to the same user ID.
This cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether a visitor is included in the data sampling defined by our site's pageview limit.
This cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether a visitor is included in the data sampling defined by the website's daily session limit.
This cookie is set by HotJar. When the Hotjar script executes they try to determine the most generic cookie path to use, instead of the page hostname. This is done so that cookies can be shared across subdomains (where applicable). To determine this, HotJar try to store the _hjTLDTest cookie for different URL substring alternatives until it fails. After this check, the cookie is removed.
5 months 27 days
This cookie is set by Youtube. Used to track the information of the embedded YouTube videos on a website.
This cookies is set by Youtube and is used to track the views of embedded videos.
These cookies collect information about your browsing habits to make advertising relevant to you and your interests.
This cookie is set by Facebook to deliver advertisement when they are on Facebook or a digital platform powered by Facebook advertising after visiting this website.
The cookie is set by Facebook to show relevant advertisments to the users and measure and improve the advertisements. The cookie also tracks the behavior of the user across the web on sites that have Facebook pixel or Facebook social plugin.
1 year 24 days
Used by Google DoubleClick and stores information about how the user uses the website and any other advertisement before visiting the website. This is used to present users with ads that are relevant to them according to the user profile.
This cookie is set by doubleclick.net. The purpose of the cookie is to determine if the user's browser supports cookies.