When it was reported a few weeks ago that veteran TV presenter Lorraine Kelly had suffered injuries in a horse riding accident, the full extent of those injuries wasn’t made public.
But now, while speaking to the Sun – for whom Lorraine is a columnist – Lorraine has admitted that she still has “flashbacks” about the accident, that could very easily have become a tragedy.
Of her ongoing recovery, Lorraine said, “I am getting there but it’s been a long, long process.
“I’m so looking forward to getting back to work but I’m going to have to take it easy.
“I’ve been living in big jogging pants because my leg swelled up to twice its size — it will be so good to put on a nice dress and a bit of slap!”
The accident happened when novice rider Lorraine was training for a fundraising event – for the PiggyBankKids children’s charity – in February when a jump ended in disaster…
Lorraine, who’d only ever ridden twice before, was thrown and then trampled by her horse, which left her needing three pints of blood and an emergency operation.
She said, “My leg was black and blue and hugely swollen. My leg still feels very numb — the feeling is only just coming back.
“I’m still walking with a stick but I’m hoping I can gradually come off that.
“The doctor did say it would take until Christmas for the nerves in my leg to heal and I’ve got a massive scar at the top of my leg.”
And of the accident, Lorraine said, “I’d never been on a horse in my life — and the accident happened on my second lesson.
“I didn’t feel confident and I was probably pushing myself too hard to do the jump.
“The horse must have known I didn’t know what I was doing because he refused to jump.
“I fell off and landed on my back and the horse stamped down on my right thigh.”
Of what happened next, she said, “It was all a blur. I can’t remember much of what was going on around me but I still have flashbacks — it was really frightening.
“I know it could have been much, much worse. It could have been a really, really serious injury. So I do feel like I’ve been lucky.
“Thankfully, paramedics were on the scene quickly. They were fantastic. They gave me morphine and oxygen and stopped the bleeding on the 15-minute dash to hospital.”
And Lorraine is full of praise for the staff at the A&E in St George’s NHS hospital in Tooting, south London, where she was treated.
She said, “It was exactly the way you see it in on TV — it felt like I was on ER or Casualty as doctors and nurses sliced through all my clothes, carefully put a neck brace on me, inserted morphine and antibiotic drips into my system, and coolly and so professionally had me scanned and X-rayed.
“It was the NHS at its finest. The ward was extremely busy and there were a lot of poor old ladies suffering from dementia who shouted and cried all through the night which meant the rest of the patients didn’t get much sleep…
“But also that the staff were rushed off their feet trying to comfort them.
“I saw first-hand what a tough and exhausting job they have, and their resilience and patience is humbling.”
Lorraine added that when she got back home to Dundee, her husband Steve had to be her nurse, chef and “entertainment manager.”
She said, “When I first came out I couldn’t do anything for myself.
“Steve would help me in the shower and made sure I was eating the right stuff to get my iron levels up.
“It was really hard not being able to do anything at all.
“I couldn’t do much — I needed him to look after me. I was housebound so I was watching a lot of box sets — a lot of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
“I don’t take much time to rest usually so it’s been great to watch a bit of daytime TV.
“I have a new obsession with Four In A Bed and Come Dine With Me. And I’ve been watching Corrie religiously.”
“I do an awful lot of walking so it’s been quite frustrating not to be able to get out and wander.
“We have this big beach near us where I’d walk the dogs, for hours sometimes.
“It’s frustrating not to be able to do the things you want to, like walk to the shop or drive. So it gives you a big wake-up call.”
And finally, Lorraine said, “I don’t think I’ll ever get on a horse again — I’ll leave that to people who know what they are doing!
“It was a real fright and I don’t think it’s for me.”