Councillor praises air ambulance service

PUBLISHED: 17:18 30 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:27 31 May 2010

Cllr breaks leg and arm while out walking.
Littlebury Green.
April 28, 2008.
Photograph by Michael Boyton.
Pic shows: Jan with Boots and Tottie.
Names: Cllr Jan Menell; Boots (black); Tottie (brown).

Cllr breaks leg and arm while out walking. Littlebury Green. April 28, 2008. Photograph by Michael Boyton. Pic shows: Jan with Boots and Tottie. Names: Cllr Jan Menell; Boots (black); Tottie (brown).

A COUNCILLOR who was left stranded for more than five hours after she broke her ankle and wrist while walking her dogs has spoken about her ordeal and praised the people who rescued her. District Councillor for Littlebury Jan Menell, 71, had to be airlift

A COUNCILLOR who was left stranded for more than five hours after she broke her ankle and wrist while walking her dogs has spoken about her ordeal and praised the people who rescued her.

District Councillor for Littlebury Jan Menell, 71, had to be airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, after her accident near Littlebury Green on Monday March 17.

Mrs Menell said: "I lay alone on a footpath with a fractured left ankle and left wrist. It was cold and spitting with rain. I was in the middle of nowhere without a mobile phone.

"I shall forever be indebted to Gareth and Jessica Stoyle, the couple who found me. They kept me alive by keeping me warm and talking to me."

For almost 30 years, Mrs Menell has lived in Littlebury Green and walked in the surrounding woods and countryside on an almost daily basis. Leaving her home at 11am with her two dogs Boots and Tottie, she walked along a footpath that travelled around Bixett Wood.

"I didn't trip - I was just walking on the path when my ankle broke. The shock caused me to fall over and I broke my left wrist when I landed," said Mrs Menell.

"I lay there for about half an hour and it was getting colder. I realised I had to find shelter and help.

"I knew nobody would find me where I was lying, but there was a footpath junction that was more likely to attract passers by. It took me about an hour and a half to drag myself across the field.

"I collapsed in a muddy heap drifting in and out of consciousness and I was getting colder. There was a real risk of getting hypothermia."

After almost four and a half hours Gareth and Jessica Stoyle, from Littlebury

Green, found the stricken councillor and called the ambulance.

When the ambulance team realised they would not be able to reach Mrs Menell, the Essex Air Ambulance was called. At 6pm - seven hours after the councillor had left her home - she was airlifted to hospital.

"The Essex Air Ambulance was fantastic. As soon as they arrived I knew I was safe. My admiration for this organisation knows no bounds," said Mrs Menell.

After spending two weeks in hospital, and after several operations, the councillor was released with her leg and arm in plaster. The plasters will come off on May 22.

"I tell this story not to gain sympathy," said Mrs Menell. "It's a salutary tale -

my own lack of preparedness is a lesson to us all.

"For my generation it is not so usual to carry a mobile phone where ever we go, but from now on when I go walking I will.

"Please consider the Essex Air Ambulance if you have any wish to support a very deserving charity. We never know when we might need them!

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