A YOUNG woman seriously injured when her horse threw her into a water-filled ditch has thanked her rescuers. Kate Burland s horse took fright after a stray dog ran across a bridle path on Christmas Eve. The fall broke her back and she lay in the ditch
A YOUNG woman seriously injured when her horse threw her into a water-filled ditch has thanked her rescuers.
Kate Burland's horse took fright after a stray dog ran across a bridle path on Christmas Eve.
The fall broke her back and she lay in the ditch "in the middle of nowhere".
"The horse reared up and we both fell backwards into the ditch," she said.
"Luckily, my mobile phone was in my right-hand pocket that was not submerged under the water.
"I waited about 40 minutes before I rang 999.
"I thought: 'Is this really important enough to dial the emergency services? I thought I'd leave it a bit longer."
In the meantime the horse, Cazzie, had got up and galloped two miles back to the stables.
In the event, it took 12 men to get Kate out of the ditch and airlifted to hospital.
She had been hurled into a ditch off a bridleway in Offord Cluny.
Kate 24, from Little Paxton, an auxiliary nurse at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, said: "It was a novelty being airlifted to my workplace.
"How many people can say they have been taken to work by helicopter?"
Last Wednesday the rescue teams from the medics emergency service Magpas, East Anglian Ambulance, and the police helicopter crew met up with Kate again.
This time it was at RAF Wyton, where the police helicopter is based, to give Kate a chance to thank them.
Firefighters from Huntingdon were also involved in the rescue.
"I was a bit spaced out at the time, so I wanted to say thank you properly," said Kate.
"It feels so good to get out and see everyone."
First on the scene on Christmas Eve morning had been ambulance crew Peter Davies and Peter Goldsmith, followed by fellow ambulanceman Brian Brooker in a rapid response vehicle.
However, the ambulance vehicles could not travel along the bridle path and Magpas was called with its 4x4 vehicle.
Kate was then attended by Magpas team of Dr Howard Sherriff and paramedic Alan Cooper, who were helped by the firefighters to lift her out of the ditch and into the police helicopter, piloted by Captain Mick Hemingway and Pc Rob Davies.
Christmas was spent at Hinchingbrooke Hospital by the Burland family, including Kate's brother Nick, 23, Mum Judy, and dad Mike.
Now, three months on, Kate is in a wheelchair and has to wear a body brace, but says she has regained the full use of her left leg.
"I can hobble round the house on crutches, which is better than the zimmer frame I had to use before.
"I can only sit up for about two hours at a time, but I have invested in an electric wheelchair, and that means I can go out with friends to a pub for lunch sometimes.
"Nerves take a long time to repair and I don't know yet whether I will make a full recovery."
INFORMATION: Magpas, founded as the Mid Anglia GP Accident Service in the 1970s, is based in St Ives with two-person teams of doctors and paramedics often first on the scene in emergencies.
It also has teams of first responders, ordinary members of the public trained in first aid.
The charity is funded entirely by donations and has just launched a Magpas Lottery.
To donate, volunteer, buy a lottery ticket, or volunteer to sell them, contact Chris Morris on 01480 371062.