Janicke Tvedt, 55 was walking her Labrador Goose when she was attacked and trampled by cows.
She was out walking with her partner David to take her mind off her impending cancer surgery which was scheduled for a few days later. It is thought the cows attacked as a form of protection for their young calves.
Janicke said of her incident: “As soon as we entered the field, I could see that there were cows up ahead. So, I grabbed the dog and put him on a lead. We initially thought we had managed to walk around the herd, but then realised there was another cow on the other side of the hedge with a calf which got spooked by the dog. We were a bit shaken and scared so we regrouped and carried on walking, but the next thing we knew, half of the herd had come back after us.
Three initially pinned us against the hedge with the rest of the herd behind. I thought if we keep still, they will get bored and go away, but after 10 minutes I got headbutted in the knees as a cow went for the dog, and I was knocked to the floor. As I was lying on the ground and another cow raised his front half up and stamp down his front hooves on me at least four times on my legs, abdomen and chest.”
Cattle can weigh more than a tonne and over the last few years, several people have died in North Yorkshire due to dangerous cow encounters.
Janicke continued: “After that, one of the cows rolled on top of me and then everything went quiet. I was lying there, and my partner came back and helped me. He helped me over to a nearby tree as the cows had blocked the exit and I put my head between my knees as I felt like I was going to pass out.
Cows surrounded us near the tree. I knew something serious was wrong. I was telling my partner where to find my will and what my wishes were, then luckily the cows left.”
Having lost their phones in the attack, her partner ran to nearby Masham Golf Club and managed to get one of the golfers to phone the emergency services. A passer-by wrapped Janicke in his t-shirt to keep her warm while waiting for help.
Yorkshire Air Ambulance was dispatched and after an on-scene assessment, she was flown to Leeds General Infirmary for further treatment.
Tests at the hospital revealed that Janicke had broken several ribs and damaged part of her bowel. Janicke had surgery where she had a colon resection and a colostomy bag fitted. Unfortunately, this delayed her cancer treatment.
“It was worrying that it had been put back”, said Janicke. “But I managed to get the surgery in October and thankfully I was then given all clear.”
The cow attack has left lasting physical and emotional harm to Janicke, but she is slowly rebuilding her confidence on walks and has since had the colostomy bag retracted. As part of her rehabilitation, she is walking 1,000 miles to raise funds for Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Speaking of the Charity, she said: “I’ve always believed Yorkshire Air Ambulance do an amazing job and I have supported them for a very long time. It was such a shock to then need to call on them, but I knew when they arrived, I was in safe hands. I feel indebted to their service.”