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Woman recovering from injuries after being thrown from horse on Brancaster beach thanks 'amazing' helpers



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A Lynn woman who was injured after being thrown from her horse on Brancaster beach has thanked the “amazing” people who came to her aid.

On Wednesday, July 15, horse fanatic Karina O’Brien set off on her first family beach day since lockdown with her husband, sons and horse Foley.

Karina said: “It was a gorgeous day as we arrived at Brancaster beach. We unloaded Foley and tacked him up.

Karina O'Brien and her horse Foley on the morning of the accident. Picture: SUBMITTED. (39504613)
Karina O'Brien and her horse Foley on the morning of the accident. Picture: SUBMITTED. (39504613)

“As we were approaching the walk way to the beach a noisy vehicle came into the car park, Foley took a few steps back and caught his leg on a sharp edge of a metal sign.

“As this cut him he started to buck and bronc. I came out of the saddle and as I fell Foley kicked me in the chest.

“I hit the ground at an awkward angle, ending up face-down in the sand, winded and unable to breathe.”

Karina O'Brien in hospital after the accident. Picture: SUBMITTED. (39504617)
Karina O'Brien in hospital after the accident. Picture: SUBMITTED. (39504617)

At that moment, Karina was so grateful for the people around her. She said: “A lovely couple saw the incident from their car and ran to help.

“The woman cared for my boys who were shocked by what they’d just seen happen to their mum, while another couple who had horses of their own managed to catch Foley with my husband and get him back in his trailer.”

Karina said she was in “agony” but an East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) first responder reached her within minutes, followed by Magpas Air Ambulance and an EEAST paramedic crew.

Magpas Air Ambulance on Brancaster beach on July 15. Picture: SUBMITTED. (39504622)
Magpas Air Ambulance on Brancaster beach on July 15. Picture: SUBMITTED. (39504622)

The Magpas team flew straight there, landing right by Karina on Brancaster beach, after taking off from their operations base in Cambridgeshire – a journey that would usually take over an hour and a half by road.

The medical staff assessed Karina at the scene, before she was taken to hospital.

“They were amazing. I was so frightened but they were wonderful, reassuring, and calm,” Karina said.

“Fortunately I had no life-threatening injuries so they gave me advanced pain relief at the scene – something that’s usually only available in a hospital A&E department – and left me in the care of the EEAST Ambulance Service paramedic crew who took me to hospital.

“Thankfully, after lots more pain relief and a quite a few scans, I’m lucky to say I only suffered a rib fracture and whiplash. And although I was very sore, swollen and had a hoof shaped bruise on my chest, I was able to go home the next day – just in time for my son’s 13th birthday.

“It will take me about six weeks to heal, but I know it could have been a lot worse. I can’t thank everyone who came to my rescue enough.

“From Magpas Dr Ali and CCP Dan, the EEAST crew and the staff at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, to the coastguard and kind strangers who jumped into action to help us – you’re all amazing!”

To support Magas, which relies on donations, go to donate.magpas.org.uk.



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