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News of our work India & Bangladesh November 2007 - April 2008

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Mary Marsh, General Secretary, had a bad accident in April this year, resulting in the need for surgery. She describes below her accident and subsequent rehabilitation.

“What a difference a day makes, 24 little hours” as the song goes but it wasn’t hours that made a difference, it was probably just seconds. In the back of a horse lorry getting a 17.2 hands hunter ready for a point to point race, I came to grief. As I started down the ramp, he trod on my left foot. To get out of the way of his back legs, I tugged and twisted as I fell - with so much vigour that I pulled the ball from the socket and snapped my leg and to add insult to injury he trod on my right foot as I lay prostrate on the floor of the lorry! I tried to get up but couldn’t – two friends helped me down the ramp and sat me on the back of a four by four (good height!). Doctor was sought and as I sat feeling such an idiot, I looked down at my leg which was not pointing in the right direction, came over hot and nauseous and passed out - but only for a short time. The pain was not too great until the St John Ambulance people moved me onto their stretcher and back to the ambulance and moved me again to the bed. The doctor came and an ambulance from Salisbury District Hospital was called which meant I had to be transferred to that ambulance so another stretcher etc. When I got to the hospital, morphine was given to alleviate the pain. The x-ray showed a clean break so the consultant decided to patch the break up with a few rods and screws.

The break happened on the Saturday, had my operation on the Sunday and home on the Wednesday.

Six weeks with no weight on the leg was very difficult and I have to thank my husband and friends, especially Pam (new Editor), for their time and patience. Getting to the office was impossible as I was unable to climb the three flights of stairs (42 steps in all). The telephone was diverted, e-mails were answered from home and the post was collected. Not all work could be done by afar however, and I had to ascend and descend the stairs a few times and did so very elegantly on my btm!

As many people will know, when you are on crutches you need another hand! You cannot take a cup of coffee further than the next surface – I did try one of those insulated mugs with a top on but even that positioned in a bag round my neck didn’t work very well. Hanging out the washing was another interesting problem – I started off with hanging items over my shoulder but that was not very successful; losing small items and getting very damp!! So my next idea was to put the washing in a plastic bag and carry it out to the line holding the bag in my mouth. My balance on one leg over the initial six weeks was quite remarkable. Doors were another problem and fire doors were near on impossible to open when on crutches.

For a further 6 weeks I was able to partial weight bare (50%) and after this time I was given the go ahead to put full weight on the leg. For a number of weeks I came into the office at about 6.00 am so that I could park closer to the office (I bought a very cheap automatic car). I am nearly back to normal but the muscles at the back of my thigh are still not strong and consequently, I walk with a slight limp which will go in time.

My life did change in those few seconds and I experienced 12 weeks of being disabled and having to rely on other people which I have never had to do. I hope I was always helpful and tolerant to disabled people before my accident but now I know how it feels.

Thank you for your good wishes and prayers – much appreciated.

PS My next charity race is for the South Dorset Air Ambulance Appeal in February.

Healing Prayer

The following is a healing prayer from Iona Abbey, which Father Ian Weathrall of the Delhi Brotherhood sent to Mary after her accident:

Spirit of the living God
present with us now,
enter you,
body, mind and spirit, and heal you
of all that harms you.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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