Stapleford woman Lucy Hunt back in the saddle again 16 months after breaking her back
A NOTTS woman is getting back in the saddle, 16 months after breaking her back in a riding accident.
Lucy Hunt, 25, from Stapleford, was crushed by her horse when attempting a jump in July last year.
She broke her sacrum – a bone at the base of her spine – and was temporarily paralysed from the waist down.
Doctors said she would walk again but that it would take time.
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The Post reported in July this year how, after months of hard work and physiotherapy, Lucy was taking on the Great Notts Bike Ride.
Now, after having X-rays on her back, she is finally riding a horse again.
She said: "Throughout my recovery I focused on the fact that I wanted to get back on a horse again. Riding has always been such a big part of my life and I didn't want to give it up.
"To get the all-clear to get back on a horse 16 months on is fantastic and I feel I'm myself again; it's a big step."
She has also met up with East Midlands Ambulance Service paramedic Wayne Foster – who was the first paramedic to reach Lucy following her accident – and his colleague Mark McConnell, who was in the back-up ambulance crew.
Lucy managed to track down Wayne, 49, who lives in Risley where her new horse is stabled, through mutual friends.
Lucy said: "I always felt I owed the paramedics a thank-you and I'm happy I've been able to finally do that.
"Their care gave me the best chance of making a good recovery. The way I'd fallen was difficult as I was on my front but they had to get me on my back, so much could have gone wrong but they were so careful and reassured me all the time."
Wayne, who has been a paramedic for 25 years this month, said: "Lucy is a very brave and determined young woman and an inspiration to others. I've attended many riding accidents over the years but hers was the worst and her injuries very serious.
"It's wonderful to hear she's doing so well as it's the nature of the job that you don't always find out what happened to people. We never expect a thank you but it really means a lot when someone says it."
Lucy and her horse Spider tumbled as they attempted a jump. She underwent an eight-hour operation to fix the bone and release the trapped nerves. After six weeks of bed rest, Lucy then spent six weeks in a wheelchair and a month on crutches before she could try walking again in November last year.
Spider died following the accident but she now has a new horse, called Geoffrey.
Lucy said: "I think part of the reason I fell in love with Geoffrey was his name. He's only five, a bit of a cheeky monster but he's also laid back and takes things in his stride – a bit like me!"