Woman's hip broken after 'rugby tackle' by pair of dogs
- Credit: Supplied by Mr Barnes
She was only just learning to walk unaided again when two dogs came crashing into her, leaving her with a broken hip.
Now Brenda Barnes, 59, from West Runton, is facing another year of using crutches after the fall, which happened on the Norfolk Coast Path between Blakeney and Cley on October 7.
Husband, Terry Barnes, 72, said: "It was a perfect rugby tackle. She went down like a sack of potatoes. If we had seen them coming at us we might have stood a chance, but they hit her from behind."
Mr Barnes said they were walking back to Cley after lunch in Blakeney when it happened.
A dog off its lead belonging to a couple walking towards them ran past and got into a "scrap" with another dog, also off its lead, belonging to another couple. Both animals then knocked over Mrs Barnes.
An ambulance was called, but there was no way for their vehicle to reach Mrs Barnes in the isolated spot, so paramedics were brought in by two Coastguard 4x4s.
The East of England Air Ambulance was alerted, but was attending another emergency, so the Coastguard rescue helicopter was dispatched from Humberside.
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The helicopter ferried Mrs Barnes to a field in Blakeney, where she was transferred to a road ambulance and taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
Mr Barnes said: "She was lying there on the path for about three hours.
"The rescue service were superb and we can't praise them enough.
"[At the hospital] they had to operate and put her hip back together. They've told her it will be another 12 months before she can walk properly again.
"It was very annoying because she'd only just got off crutches from having a serious knee operation last year. That was a cycle accident.
"She had a lateral fracture of the tibia and fibula and was thigh-to-ankle in plaster, and was on crutches for five months."
Mr Barnes said the dogs were small to medium-sized, and their owners were apologetic about the incident, but he thought dogs should be kept on leads in such situations.
"To me, if a dog isn't on a lead, it's not under control," Mr Barnes said. "The same thing could have happened to a small child."