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Tuesday February 13, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Three years ago PlanetSKI reporter, Clare Meaney, was involved in a ‘hit and run’ accident in Val d’Isere. Finally she is back on snow.

It was a shocking tale when she was hit by an out of control skier who then pretended he was going to get help.  

But in reality, he skied off never to be found again.

See here for Clare's horrific tale from the time:  
Accident sceneAccident scene

















Clare had surgery on her broken leg and later on both of her "skier's thumbs", leaving her wondering if she'd ever ski again.

Who'd have thought it could get any worse than that?

Well 10 months later, for a completely different reason, it did.

Skiing was the very last thing on her mind for several years.

But this season she has made it back on the slopes and here recounts her ordeal in a two-part blog.  


I woke up on Wednesday 21st October 2015 having been to a Ski Event the night before, feeling bright and breezy.  

Suddenly out of nowhere I had a "thunderclap" headache.

A headache you could never imagine.

I know I can be prone to exaggeration, but I really did think I was going to die.

Luckily my daughter was at home and called an ambulance straight away.

It was going to take an hour to arrive, so my friend took me straight to Barnet hospital.

They scanned me as soon as possible and confirmed that I'd had a bleed to the brain - a brain haemorrhage - a sub arachnoid haemorrhage - call it what you will, but if I didn't get treatment, soon I was going to die.

50% of patients die within the first few hours. 

They rushed me to Queen's Square hospital in London in an ambulance, where they carried out a lifesaving operation.

I remember being in the ambulance for a few seconds but apart from that I don't remember anything until 2 weeks later.

I had 2 aneurysms on the brain.

One of them was so large they had to open me up and took it 7 hours to complete.  

My family was devastated.

They had to do a further operation 2 days later, because of complications.

It wasn't looking good.

Every day lots of people came to visit me.

Apparently, they went to the wine bar on the Square to drink Prosecco and drown their sorrows, perhaps just to prove that life goes on.

By some miracle, even though I had a 10% chance of survival, 3 strokes and spent 3 months in hospital, I survived to tell the tale.

Whilst in rehab I couldn't remember much.

I didn't know where I was or what had happened to me.

I asked my children if they had enjoyed the Elvis concert?!

That gives you an indication of my brain injury. I spent the next two years getting better each day.

I had speech therapy and I learnt how to walk and talk again.

I take 8 drugs a day, have a weakness in my left side and epilepsy from the scar tissue, but I can safely say that I'm not too bad.

Funnily enough one of the first things I remember is the nurse in intensive care telling my visitors that she loved skiing. 

I'm not sure I even knew what skiing was! It was the most terrifying ordeal my family would ever have.

Would I ever make it again to the ski slopes?

Not in a million years! 

But I did and I have.

This winter.

It was a traumatic and uplifting experience and I'll be letting you know how I got on in Part Two of this blog later in the week.

Back in ski gear at leastBack in ski gear at least

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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