A leap off a pier landed me in A&E

a leap off a pier landed me in A&E

by take-a-break |
Updated on

A day at the beach ended in disaster for Leone…

leg snapped in half after jumping off pier

Driving past a stretch of golden sand, I broke into a smile.

That beach looks lovely, I thought.

The minute I got home I texted my mates.

I’ve just seen this lush beach in Gateshead, I messaged. Let’s go when the weather’s nice.

Weeks later, there was a heatwave, and after being stuck indoors at my call centre job all week, I couldn’t wait to catch some rays.

So when the weekend arrived, I picked up my three best pals, Caitlin, Cameron and Matt and drove us the 45 minutes to the beauty spot.

The sun was scorching, and the beach was so packed we had to sit on a wall to get changed into our swimming gear.

‘This is the life, eh?’ I said, smothering myself in sun cream.

‘Are we gonna go in the sea?’ Caitlin asked after a while.

‘I’m not sure,’ I replied.

To be honest, I was more than happy just sunbathing, plus I knew the water would be freezing.

But a bunch of people were jumping off the pier, though, and it did look fun.

Still hesitant, I watched as Cameron eventually ran over to the concrete pier and launched himself off.

‘Woohoo!’ he cried, bobbing back up to the surface. ‘It’s so refreshing!’

But the pier was a good 15ft high, and I was still nervous about giving it a go.

I sat there debating for ages until I finally thought: Sod it! I’m gonna do it!

I’d jumped off cliffs and waterfalls before on my hols, so I reckoned I knew how to do it safely.

And I wanted to feel that adrenaline rush.

It’ll be easier just to get it over and done with, I decided.

So, I ran up, held my nose, then cannonballed into the sea.

When I bobbed back up to the surface, I felt on a high.

leg snapped in half after jumping off pier

‘That was brilliant!’ I whooped.

Matt jumped in afterwards and the three of us swum around for a bit, then got out to dry off.

We walked back to where our towels lay, but immediately I wanted to do it again.

‘I’m going back!’ I said. ‘Caitlin, can you record me jumping off?’

‘Sure,’ she replied as I ran back to the water’s edge.

I gave Caitlin my mobile.

‘One, two, three, go!’ she said, hitting record.

I ran and jumped off the pier just like I had before.

But this time, I landed on something hard.

'A sharp pain tore through me'

‘Arrrrgh!’ I wailed, realising I’d hit the sandbank, and the water here was only 8ft deep.

Disorientated, I tried to swim off, dragging myself forward with just my arms.

But my left leg felt all strange.

I lifted it up…. then felt a sickening snap!

Suddenly a sharp pain tore through me.

‘Call an ambulance!’ I screamed as Caitlin, Matt and Cam stared at me in horror.

Dazed, I started dragging myself further out to sea instead.

Suddenly a woman swam towards me, hooked her arms under mine, then began hauling me backwards.

‘I’m a nurse,’ she said, trying to reassure me. ‘Stay calm, you’re going to be OK.’

The lifeguards rushed over as she pulled me nearer to dry land.

The shock of the impact must have taken some of the edge off the pain at first, because now I was in sheer agony.

I didn’t want to get out of the water in case it made it worse.

Five lifeguards ran into the water and put a fleece top on me to keep me warm.

leg snapped in half after jumping off pier

‘I can’t move my leg!’ I howled, so they lifted me on to a stretcher.

I shivered in pain as they gave me gas and air, then they needed to pull me on to a different stretcher to drag me properly to shore.

‘What’s happened?’ I whimpered.

‘You jumped when the tide had gone in. It wasn’t safe,’ a lifeguard explained.

‘I need to ring my mum,’ I kept saying.

But nobody could get any signal on the beach.

Eventually, someone got through to my family and my mum rushed straight there.

I hadn’t cried until now, but as soon as I saw her, I burst into tears.

‘I’m so sorry,’ I sobbed. ‘I’m such an idiot.’

‘It’s OK, love,’ she soothed, stroking back my hair. My friends were stood beside us, still in shock at what had happened.

After 45 minutes, the ambulance finally arrived.

By then, I’d gulped through five bottles of gas and air.

They blue-lighted me to hospital

When we arrived, they needed 10 doctors and nurses to roll me gently side to side for an X-ray.

It felt like someone was stabbing my leg with a knife — then jumping on it for good measure.

‘You’ve broken both bones in your left shin,’ a doctor explained, studying the X-ray. ‘They’ve snapped clean in half.’

I felt like throwing up.

I’d also chipped my spine and damaged my knee.

‘It could’ve been a lot worse,’ the doctor warned.

Leg snapped in half after jumping off pier

Holed up in my hospital bed, I scoured my phone and spotted Caitlin’s footage of my jumping fail.

It was horrible watching me do the run-up all smiles, then leaping off. The clip then cut to me receiving gas and air.

Determined to warn others, I posted the video on TikTok and within hours it racked up 50,000 views.

Loads of people commented how lucky I was that I wasn’t paralysed.

A few folk even admired how I’d managed to keep my false lashes on throughout!

I would have chuckled, if it didn’t hurt so much.

A few days later, I underwent a four-and-a-half-hour op to join my shin bone and calf bone back together again with a metal rod.

‘We think you’ll make a full recovery,’ my consultant reassured me.

Mum came to see me every day.

‘Oh love, what were you thinking?’ she said.

‘Not one of my better ideas,’ I agreed, staring down at my plastered-up leg.

The pain was excruciating, I had to be dosed up on morphine and codeine, before I went home a week later.

Mum helped looked after me.

I needed a knee brace and a machine that helped me stretch and lift my leg because it had been stiff for so long.

The pain was still unbearable, and I needed another op to aid my recovery.

Even when I could walk and put weight on my leg, I needed crutches for two and a half months.

I’m still recovering to this day, and have just had a third op.

One leg is slightly longer than the other now, so I walk with a waddle, and have a four-inch scar stretching from my shin to the top of my knee.

Ten months on, I’ll never jump into the sea or off a cliff or waterfall again.

I can’t thank enough the RNLI lifeguards, the paramedics and, of course, that off-duty nurse who came to my rescue that day. And all my family and friends who have supported me.

The sun’s out now, and I know everyone’s thinking about their hols.

But I want to warn everyone: Please don’t do what I did!

It’s just not worth it.

I’m lucky I can still walk.

Leone Morrison, 21, Tyne and Wear

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