“It takes something like my accident to fully appreciate how important hospital helipads are.”
Henry Brooke, jockey.
Henry Brooke was racing at Hexham when he fell of his horse Old Storm, at the second-last fence in a 2.5 mile novice chase. The jockey was subsequently kicked repeatedly as the other runners passed by. Racing was delayed by nearly two hours as the racecourse medical team worked with land ambulance crew members, and medics from the Air Ambulance, to treat Henry at the scene. He was then airlifted to a hospital helipad that was close to the hospital’s emergency department.
Henry was placed into an induced coma for three days and had several broken bones including a broken collar bone, and nine broken or displaced ribs. He also suffered a collapsed lung.
Henry takes up the story:
“The fact that I could get straight in for treatment after landing at the hospital definitely helped with my survival and recovery. I have no doubt whatsoever that I wouldn’t be here today without the swift action and expertise of the course medical team, air ambulance and location of the helipad and for that I, and my family, will be eternally grateful. As a jockey, I love what I do and I take it for granted that I will return home at the end of a day’s work, as do my colleagues.
It takes something like my accident to fully appreciate the support that allows us to be as safe as possible whilst doing our job.
Seven weeks after the accident, I was back racing again. The speedy treatment I received definitely helped with that. It felt brilliant to be back in the saddle again.
Looking ahead to 2018, I’m going to try and ride as many winners as I can, and be as professional as I can. It might be a good year or it might be a bad one, but I want to look back and know that I’ve tried my best.”