It’s an exercise, no it’s not it’s for real

Two days late in reporting but at least we can report on their state of

On our routine Wednesday evening exercise this week all was progressing well
with the two ’exercise’ casualty scenerio within the Wilderswood area on the
moors above Horwich, ie, the exercise organisers Fred Taylor, Michael
O’Brien and Peter Heeley were trying to outsmart their team member
colleagues with a devious and somewhat difficult exercise incident, whilst
our Team Leader Garry Rhodes was yet again allowed by all present to think
he was actually in charge.

Amidst all the ’play acting’ came a radio report that team member Neil
Aspinall had gone over on his ankle (clumsy boy!) and may need stretcher
evacuating. On establishing this was a real injury, there was a brief halt
to the exercise proceedings, whilst team members debated their willingness
to carrying the not inconsiderable size of Neil back to the vehicles RVP for
some tender loving care and treatment.

Guess what, Neil had to hobble back to the vehicles as we were having too
much fun on the exercise, amidst many comments of “whats wrong Neil at least
you’ve got one good leg left !” (yes we really are a caring team).

Not to be outdone, our youngest team member Matthew Hailwood decided he
would get in on the act, and promptly fell awkwardly with his full weight on
to his knee, and in considerable pain yet not wishing to suffer the agonies
of asking his team members for help also hobbled back to the vehicles RVP.
Well the worsening pain and rapidly swelling knee resulted in a decision to
quickly get him to hospital, as a possible fractured kneecap was suspected!

Matthew Hailwood recieved some immediate care from team member Ana Toole, a
Physiotherapist at Royal Bolton Hospital, who fortunately for Matthew is
something of an expert on knees!

Arriving at the Royal Bolton Hospital Matthew was treated very quickly, and
thankfully X Rays revealed no breaks although a very serious soft tissue was

For the curious the yellow sticker says ’I’ve been very brave’ – aww bless.

Well two days later Matthew is still on crutches and will be for some time,
and has been assigned none other than team member Ana Toole as his
Physiotherapist for a hopefully not too long period back to full recovery.

As for Neil Aspinall, well Matthews injury was much worse, so he got little
more than the advice of the rest of us to look where he’s going in future!

As a footnote Team Doctor Clare Whitney was in no great position to rush and
help the hapless two, for although she was on the same exercise she was
still nursing a very sore foot after her horse stood on her!