Jump for disability cause leads to hospital for fundraiser

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Karen Fletcher recovers at home after two operations on her ankle Karen Fletcher recovers at home after two operations on her ankle

Charity fundraiser Karen Fletcher spent nine days in hospital after a freak accident during a parachute jump.

Mrs Fletcher, 55, who works as a receptionist at Market Lavington doctor’s surgery, had to undergo two operations.

She is now back home in Devizes but is still not allowed to put any weight on her badly broken left ankle.

She said: “It was just a freak accident. I think we were hit by a bit of a thermal just as we were about to land and my ankle got caught behind the instructor I was doing the tandem dive with.

“It meant that when we landed he sat on my ankle. I knew immediately there was something wrong but I was not in pain to begin with because of the adrenalin rush.

“He said to me ‘good landing’ and I said ‘yes, but I can’t feel my ankle’.”

Luckily the instructor from Go Sky Dive was a trained paramedic and put her ankle in a splint while they waited for an ambulance to arrive at Old Sarum airfield.

The accident was witnessed by her two sons Richard, 29, and Neil, 25, and her friend Joan James who had completed a jump just minutes before.

Mrs Fletcher, a former landlady of the Wiltshire Yeoman in Chirton, was taken to Salisbury District Hospital where her ankle was manipulated and put in a cast.

On the next day she had surgery to put a metal frame on her ankle.

A week later she had to undergo further surgery to have metal pins inserted and only came out of hospital last Tuesday.

She was raising money for the cause Kids Charity, which helps disabled youngsters and young carers.

She said: “I have raised about £750 so far but hopefully I will get a bit more. Everyone from the surgery has sponsored me after encouraging me to take part.”

Mrs Fletcher’s parents Kathleen and Rex Jones, who live in Spain, had planned to fly over for a holiday in Wiltshire but now instead of visiting the sights are caring for their daughter.

She said: “It isn’t quite the holiday they planned.

“But as I still can’t even walk with crutches and have a Zimmer frame as I must not put any weight on my left ankle, it is very useful that they are here to help me.”

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