Woman’s spine BURSTS after she leaps off 50ft bridge in tombstoning horror
A thrill-seeking woman who jumped from a 50ft bridge in a daredevil stunt was left learning how to walk again after bursting her spine.
Libby Sinden, 22, was enjoying a summer’s day with her friends at Devil’s Bridge in Cumbria, when she decided to jump into the River Lune in July last year.
But the healthcare worker felt like she “hit a brick wall” as she landed in the water at the popular swim spot.
The terrifying moment was caught on film by Libby’s friends, who asked if she was hurt to which she cried out: “I’ve hurt my back”.
Libby managed to drag herself to the banks of the river where she lay for another three hours before emergency rescue teams and paramedics scrambled to airlift her to hospital.
Libby, from Preston, Lancashire, said: “I was one of the lucky ones not to be paralysed and have any rocks underneath.
“A lot of people jump off the bridge. I watched quite a few people jump off it, including kids, and they were absolutely fine.
“I’d seen two people before jump in but I know over the years, hundreds or even thousands have done it. As I stood on the wall, I felt a bit of adrenaline mixed with nervousness.
“As soon as I jumped, I felt fear before I hit the water [when] I realised how high it was. It was about 50ft high.
“I decided to give it a go but I was just unlucky. The way I hit the water, it was still rather than moving, so it was almost like hitting a brick wall.”
Libby has now begged others not to attempt bridge or cliff jumps after she underwent a six hour operation on her spine to repair a burst fracture, which left her unable to walk for four months.
Doctors at Royal Preston Hospital fitted metal rods and screws in Libby’s back to support her spine, but she faced a long recovery with gruelling physio.
The chilling footage shows Libby plunge from the bridge with flailing legs before crying out in pain.
She said: “It caused my spine to have a burst fracture, which led to getting three fire rescue teams, an ambulance, mountain rescue and then being air evacuated to Preston Royal Hospital.
“My message to other people is that it can happen to anyone at any time and that a small decision can change your entire life. Don’t do it.
“Everyone makes mistakes and I want to raise awareness.”