Teenager re-united with life-saving team after riding fall

AN EAST Lothian schoolgirl, seriously injured in a horse riding accident, has been reunited with the emergency medics who rushed to her aid.


Hana Elder (13) was preparing for a cross-country race with her Dad, Hugh, on the family’s farm near Haddington when her pony took a fall, throwing her off and landing on top of her, crushing her leg and pelvis.


Paramedics rushed to the scene, but Hana’s injuries were so serious that they were forced to call on the expertise of Medic One – a specialist life-saving unit based at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

Photo: Medic One Consultant Dr. Sara Robinson, Hana Elder, Charge Nurse Claire Banks and Dr Heather MColl​

Hana, a S3 pupil at Knox Academy, only remembers some of what happened next: “My Dad said he could see my leg was lying really awkwardly and also that there was a bulge in my thigh.


“I felt a huge sense of relief when Medic One came.  Everything seemed to speed up. The consultant told me her name was Sara and that she and her team were going to get me safely to hospital. They put a pelvic brace on and they also gave me an injection which meant that I could finally be moved into the ambulance.  I don’t remember that part.  I do remember seeing the roof of the ambulance and hearing the siren.”


Arriving at hospital, the true extent of Hana’s injuries were discovered. The schoolgirl had broken her femur and her pelvis was fractured in four places.


Hana’s Mum Louise, who had been out at lunch when the accident happened, said: “Throughout the whole ordeal Hana had been remarkably brave and very calm. I on the other hand was quite frightened – a leg break you are familiar with but I was concerned about her pelvis. I was also worried that there might be other hidden things wrong.”


The next morning, doctors inserted a 43cm pin in Hana’s leg and the teenager was moved to intensive care as a precaution.


Despite struggling to walk at first due to the extreme swelling in her leg, after just over a week in hospital, on Easter Sunday, Hana was able to return home.

She undertook weekly physiotherapy sessions to help rebuild the muscles in her leg again and was able to get around on crutches.


“10 weeks after the accident I was able to ride my pony Dan again,” says Hana.


“I’ve attended physio every week and five months after the fall I am running again and have started back at hockey. Thanks to Medic One who started me on the road to a speedy recovery!”


 Louise says the whole family are in awe of the Medic One team and what they do.


She said: “I couldn’t praise the ambulance team, Sara and the rest of the Medic One team more. I feel truly lucky to have these services, which we really do take for granted.


“Hana is doing amazingly well. Her Consultant told her it was likely it would take her 6 to 12 months to recover and in just 5 months, she’s back at riding competitions and swimming and doing most of the things she did before.


 “I really believe that her recovery is down to the immediate attention she received –it meant Hana had every chance of a good and speedy recovery. We have huge admiration for the work of Medic One, they are amazing.”


On Tuesday 1st September Hana and her mum were reunited with the Medic One team including Dr. Sara Robinson, at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.


Dr. Robinson said: “We are all delighted with how well Hana is recovering. It was challenging to move her from the field where she was injured in to the ambulance because of both the nature of her injuries and the uneven terrain. I'm pleased that she remembers relatively little about her transfer to hospital and that her pain was well controlled throughout.

“It is a privilege to be able to work with our colleagues in the Scottish Ambulance Service who do such a fantastic job pre-hospital. Medic One exists to support their work by providing a pre-hospital medical team skilled to perform life-saving procedures and aid safe transfer to hospital.”

Anyone wishing to support the work of Medic One can donate to the Medic One Charitable Trust which helps provide equipment and training for staff. Visit the Medic One website​ for more information.