A Kent woman’s traumatic cow attack, in which she suffered life-changing injuries, will feature in the next episode of Helicopter ER – the reality TV series featuring the work of Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Stella Collins was on a five-day walking holiday in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales with her husband Geoff when she was charged and repeatedly trampled by a cow in an unprovoked attack.
“I was a little ahead of my husband who had stopped to take a photo,” said Stella. “We were about 35 metres away from this herd of cows when, without warning, this large ginger and white cow charged.
“It just came thundering towards me and I heard my husband say ‘Oh no’ and I thought I was going to die because of the anguish in his voice.
“I had no time to do anything other than turn my shoulder as the cow’s head hit me and I was thrown into the air. I was like a rag doll being tossed around and repeatedly trampled.
“We were so happy to be in such a beautiful place. It was like being in a part of heaven but then, in a blink of an eye, heaven turned into hell.”
Last year in the UK five people were killed in cow tramplings and dozens more were seriously injured. Stella suffered multiple injuries in the attack, including broken ribs, a blood clot and lesions to her lungs, leg and ankle injuries, whiplash, and major soft tissue damage.
Fourteen months later, she is still undergoing weekly rehabilitation and physiotherapy and is in constant pain.
The super-active 60-year-old regularly played tennis, badminton, table tennis, and stoolball. Since the attack Stella has tried to return to sports but, after aggravating her soft tissue injuries, has been advised against activity until after further diagnostic tests.
“It is really hard,” added Stella. “I still have all this pain doing just everyday activities and am just not the person I was. I have lost my confidence and still suffer flashbacks of the cow being over me, snorting as it trampled me again and again.
“But, I know how lucky I was and I am just so grateful for the actions of the emergency services and what they did for me, particularly the air ambulance. I can’t imagine what the journey to the hospital would have been like if I had to go by road from such a remote spot.”
Stell was airlifted to the hospital where she spent five days. Her story features in Tuesday’s episode of Helicopter ER, the award-winning Really channel programme which follows the life-saving work of Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Serving a population of approximately five million people across Yorkshire, the Charity operates two air ambulances from airbases at The Nostell Priory Estate near Wakefield and RAF Topcliffe near Thirsk plus two Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs).
The rapid response air emergency service needs to raise £19,000 every day to keep its two helicopters flying.