When you work in television you expect to be told to ‘break a leg’ at some point, but you don’t expect to actually do it! Unfortunately, I have.
At the end of February my partner Dave whisked me away to France for a few days on the slopes as a Valentines’s treat. Extravagant, I know, particularly when you consider that it wasn’t our first ski holiday of the year; in January we travelled to Andorra for a long weekend, but after two days on the snow we were both struck with food poisoning (I won’t go into detail, but it was worse than a scene from the Exorcist in our bathroom) so this was to make up for the disappointment of our last unsuccessful trip.
With our skis waxed, and bags packed (with extra immodium of course), we travelled to the chocolate box resort of Sainte Foy.
Our holiday had the perfect start, as the mini bus pulled up outside our hotel the snow began to fall and the following morning conditions were perfect. After a fabulous breakfast of croissants and baguettes with cheese we headed up the mountain ready to ski. We enjoyed several wonderful hours on the powder snow skiing and taking selfies, before stopping for a bite to eat. If I’d known then what I know now, I’d have called it a day there and then, but unfortunately we decided to ski again after lunch.
We took the chairlifts to the top of the mountain, where the views were magnificent, and began our way down. The slope was empty as we flew down, taking in the glorious mountain air. But suddenly I caught an edge with my ski and fell over – unfortunately I don’t do things by half! While the fall didn’t look spectacular I knew straight away I’d hurt my knee, and as I stood up it gave way. There was only one thing for it, a trip in the blood wagon! For those of you who don’t know what a blood wagon is, it’s basically a red hammock with handles which is used to take invalids off the mountain. I was strapped in securely by two members of Mountain Rescue, who then dragged me through the snow to an ambulance waiting at the bottom of the slopes.
Needless to say I was embarrassed, and by the time I was seen by a doctor at the hospital I actually felt like a bit of a fraud! According to him, all I’d done was sprained it. I couldn’t ski for the rest of the week and I did have a rather unattractive leg brace, but thankfully nothing was broken… or so I thought.
Today I’ve been for an MRI scan and it seems that I have actually severed my Anterior Cruciate Ligament, torn my Medial Collateral Ligament and seriously damaged the cartilage in my knee. I’ll need an operation and months of reconstructive surgery. I know I’ve reported on hundreds of medical issues and filmed operations, but this time I’m actually be the story.
The big question most people want to know though is ‘will I ever go skiing again?’ and of course the answer is yes. The last two trips might have been a disaster, but I’m hoping it’s third time lucky!