Thursday 26 April 2018

'If the helicopter service wasn't here, there's a good chance Emma wouldn't have lasted'

Cillian Sherlock

A competitive horse rider from Co Wicklow who suffered brain injuries after she became unsaddled during a race has expressed her thanks to the Air Corps team who rushed her to hospital.

Emma Lyons told Independent.ie about her traumatic accident 14 months ago during a point-to-point race in Ballingarry Co. Tipperary.

"I had a fall and the horse coming after me hit my head. I ended up being unconscious with a suspected head injury. The doctor on the scene decided my injuries were quite bad so she called in for the Air Corps," she said.

The Air Corps 112 helicopter brought her down to Cork in half an hour while an ambulance would have taken almost two hours.

Emma, who was attending an event celebrating five years of the Air Corps Emergency Aeromedical Service, wanted to express her gratitude to the service.

"They made sure I got to Cork and got treatment. I recovered really well and I'm here to thank the Air Corps because it's not until you're actually receiving treatment until you realise what they're doing.

"They do an awful lot to ensure that people get the treatment they need," she added.

"There are so many who are working behind the scenes as well so it's important to say thank you to everyone," Emma said.

She said it was only after she recovered that she started to realise how bad her injury was but she said that she has recovered very well.

Emma said that she grew up with horses and was very involved in the horse racing community.

"It's something that was in the blood so taking a step back from that has been the biggest change," she said.

Emma's fiancé Iain Nash said it was a shock to receive the call.

"It was not a nice experience at all. But we're hearing from the doctors that the fact they got her stabilised and down to hospital so quickly meant she had a very good and very fast recovery," Iain said.

"If the helicopter service wasn't here, there's a good chance Emma wouldn't have lasted. We're here to say thanks," he added.

He was worried that the extent of the injuries might mean that Emma might not remember who he was.

"There's nothing you can do but wait. But the signs were good and the recovery was quite quick," he added.

Iain proposed to Emma after she recovered from the injuries.

"We just got engaged after the treatment. From my side it was just time to get off the fence," he said.

The couple had been in a relationship for 11 years and are planning to get married next year.

"Once we were through all that and everything was fine, it was time to make it formal. Which we did," Iain added.

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