The Great North Air Ambulance crew with Ms May after her Striding Edge fall. Photo: GNAAS

The Great North Air Ambulance crew with Ms May after her Striding Edge fall. Photo: GNAAS

A walker who blacked out and fell 30ft while traversing Striding Edge on England’s third-highest mountain has recalled her ordeal.

Elizabeth May was left with serious injuries in the incident on Helvellyn in May, but says the fall could have been a lot more serious.

The 51-year-old thanked her rescuers, including the crew of the Great North Air Ambulance, Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team and the Coastguard search and rescue helicopter crew.

The Coastguard helicopter prepares to winch the fallen walkr from Striding Edge. Photo: GNAAS

The Coastguard helicopter prepares to winch the fallen walkr from Striding Edge. Photo: GNAAS

She was making her way along Striding Edge on 7 May with her husband and two friends when she briefly lost consciousness and fell head first down the rocky mountainside.

Fortunately, she came to rest just 30ft below, but had nevertheless sustained significant injuries. Mrs May, of the West Midlands, said: “My first memory is of being aware I was going through the air with my eyes closed, and then grinding to a halt on my front on the ground.

“My husband saw me mid-flight and thought I was going all the way down to Red Tarn, several hundred feet below, which would have been a very different story, so he was extremely relieved when I hit the path and came to a stop.”

Mrs May sustained multiple injuries including liver laceration, two broken ribs, facial cuts, broken teeth and a damaged wrist.

Terry Sharpe, GNAAS aircrew paramedic, was part of a team of three medics from the air ambulance present.

He said: “We made our way to Mrs May, who had sustained head, face and chest injuries. We treated her and on examination found she had an abdominal injury which proved to be serious.

“We were on a ledge so we tried to make her as comfortable as possible, and called in the Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team and a search and rescue helicopter to assist us in getting her off Striding Edge.”

Mrs May was winched from the scene and taken down to Patterdale Mountain Rescue base, where she was transferred to the GNAAS helicopter and flown to the major trauma unit at Royal Preston Hospital.

Elizabeth May walking in Snowdonia

Elizabeth May walking in Snowdonia

She is now largely recovered, though is still undergoing some dental work and has sore ribs. Mrs May has even started going back to the gym to try and build her fitness back up.

She said: “I knew I had a smashed up face, and thought I had broken ribs, but had no idea about my liver injury.

“The people who attended me were all absolutely superb. The way the GNAAS team communicated with me and handled things could not have been better. They were all really amazing, I cannot stress this enough.”

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