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999: Critical Condition: Trainee teacher crushed by horse

A 21-year-old student teacher who can no longer feel her left leg after being crushed by her horse is to feature in the latest episode of 999: Critical Condition, the exclusive documentary charting the life and death decisions and actions of staff at Royal Stoke University Hospital.

Lucy Croucher, of Winsford, Cheshire was airlifted to the Major Trauma Centre after coming off her horse and being crushed by him while trying to jump a fence in Horton, near Nantwich in January this year.

Film crews from Brinkworth Productions were there to capture Lucy’s arrival at Royal Stoke Emergency Department where doctors were originally concerned she was paralysed. Her story will be included in 999: Critical Condition on Wednesday (24 May) at 9pm on Channel 5.

Today Lucy, who has ridden since she was 18 months old, said: “We went to jump a fence and the ground was really boggy. The horse sank in the mud and we both went over. He’s a big horse at 18 hands and very heavy. He landed on top of me and completely crushed me. It was a horrible experience and one I would never want to live through again. I passed out and when I came too there was the worry that I couldn’t feel my legs.”

She added: “At first doctors thought I might have damaged my spine, but instead I have been diagnosed with functional neurological disorder which means I just can’t feel my left leg. The nerves in my spine have been damaged by the trauma and they’ve not rebooted. The doctors think the feeling might come back at some point but no-one knows for sure.”

Lucy, who is studying to be a primary school teacher at Staffordshire University, is not letting her injuries stop her though. After spending five weeks at Royal Stoke she got back in the saddle just eight weeks after the accident and will be competing for the first time following the incident at the International Side Saddle Show in Aintree this weekend.

“I got back on Mambo after eight weeks. It was terrifying but good to be back in the saddle again. I have to adapt and change the way I ride and get on and off because I can’t feel my leg properly but I am determined it won’t stop me doing what I love,” Lucy explained.

She added: “I had great care every step on the way at Stoke and I keep bumping into the student nurses who took care of me on campus at university who still ask me how I am doing.”