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Former air ambulance patient flown after equine injury starts career with international showjumpers

Former air ambulance patient flown after equine injury starts career with international showjumpers

A Narborough teenager, who was flown by the local air ambulance after being trampled by a horse when she was nine years old, has achieved her ambition of starting a career in the equine world.

Abbi Pedley (16) is working as an apprentice at a company run by a family of international showjumpers.

Her mum, Karen Pedley, believes that the treatment and care Abbi was given by the air ambulance critical care doctor and paramedics back in May 2013 played a big part in her daughter’s determination to carry on riding and pursue her dream job after being seriously injured.

“We never underestimate the difference the air ambulance made to the situation Abbi was in. If it wasn’t for the fantastic care she received and the help she was given, it would have been too traumatic for her to carry on riding,” she says.

Despite needing surgery to pin and plate her leg, Abbi was back in the saddle less than a year after her accident and has gone on to have many riding successes – including winning a national show jumping title in 2017.

She is an accomplished horsewoman and thinks nothing of jumping hedges six feet high and wide on her horse Carlow, on whom she is hoping to be able to compete next year if show jumping events are allowed.

When her accident happened in 2013, Abbi had been riding her pony at a local show, when suddenly he reared up, lost his balance, and fell backwards onto her. He rolled over Abbi, crushing her and in his panic to get up trampled on her leg – shattering her femur.

When the Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA) arrived at the scene, Abbi was in indescribable pain. The critical care doctor and paramedic gave her morphine to make her as comfortable as possible so her leg could be realigned and put in a splint before she was flown to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.

Karen still recalls how she felt when the helicopter landed in a nearby field.

“I’ll never forget Abbi saying to me – ‘I’m dying Mum, I’m dying.’ I kept asking her questions to find out exactly what hurt, but she couldn’t answer because the pain was too much. It was horrendous. If I could have changed places with her, I would have done. Minutes passed and, in the distance, I could hear a helicopter approaching and I just knew it was for us. I felt such a sense of physical relief that help had arrived,” she says.

Karen and Abbi often talk about that day and the difference being attended by the local air ambulance made to Abbi physically and psychologically.

“We are absolutely indebted to DLRAA for coming to Abbi when she needed urgent medical help. The care she received made such a difference to her and her ability to recover and continue riding. We support the charity whenever we can and will continue to do so,” says Karen.