Woman crawls for two hours after being trampled
Ella Spinks was weeding the horse paddock when a barking dog spooked the horses and sent one of them running over the top of her about 8am.
Mrs Spinks suffered injuries to her hip and inner thigh, and was last night waiting to learn whether her pelvis and leg had been broken.
After an hour of waiting for help to come to her, Mrs Spinks decided to ignore the intense pain and crawl the 400 metres to the farm’s shed – and the two-way radio she could use to call for help.
Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter crew chief Roger Fry, who later flew in to take Mrs Spinks to Lismore Base Hospital, praised the grandmother’s two-hour ordeal as ‘quite remarkable’.
Mr Fry said Mrs Spinks managed to ignore other injuries – cuts and grazes – caused by her slow crawl to get herself to the shed and the help she needed.
Mrs Spinks’ daughter, Rosey Smithers, who lives on the neighbouring farm, said her mother made it to the shed and called for help about 11am, three hours after she was trampled.
Ms Smithers said she dashed to the car when the call finally came through, while her daughter
Jemma,11, ran and opened every gate.
“When I heard she was hurt I just dropped everything,” Ms Smithers said.
“I drove the car across the paddocks pretty fast, and just told Jemma to leave all the gates open,” she said.
Ms Smithers, a former SES volunteer with first-aid training, said her mother had gone into shock by the time she and Jemma reached her.
Jemma stayed with her grandmother while Ms Smithers called 000 and kept a lookout for the ambulance.
Ambulance officers from Bonalbo arrived about 12.20pm. Mr Fry arrived in the helicopter about 25 minutes later.
Mr Fry said Mrs Spinks was ‘in a lot of pain, but in a stable condition’.
“The paramedics administered some pain relief, and we put her on a spinal board,” he said.
The helicopter flew Mrs Spinks to Lismore Base Hospital, where last night her husband David and family waited to learn the extent of her injuries.
Ms Smithers said her mother was ‘pretty stubborn and determined’.
“She’s been knocked down by a horse before,” she said.
“She is pretty tough, and bounces pretty well.”
Ms Smithers said her mother had been born on a farm, and had been a farmer all her life.
“When it’s in your blood, it’s in your blood,” she said.
“She’s very independent.”
However, Ms Smithers said she hoped her mother took the two-way radio with her next time she went out to work in the paddock.
“I keep telling her to take the hand-held, because I could have got to her straightaway instead of three hours later,” she said.
“I have a two-way in the house, the car, and wear one on me because I’m in the fire brigade.”
Ms Smithers said she expected her mother to make a full recovery, and quickly return to their 40ha hobby farm.