Rip Curl Wetsuit Saves Surfer Girls Leg

Michelle Forsbray, Tells Her Story Of How Wetsuit Saves Her Leg.

On Ssturday 6th Dec, I went for a surf at Bournemouth, it was a lush day with great surf.

Super Duper sunny.

However it all went wrong:

I remember making a decision before I went out on which winter suit to wear. I have a Rip Curl Flash Bomb, Rip Curl 5"3 from a few years ago & a O Neill Synergy.

All purchased at my local surf shop "Sorted" :0))

I nearly went for the Synergy as its not uber cold yet & want to get the full benefit of the G Bomb when it gets colder, as it is toasty, drys quick & I can stay in the water longer.

Haha.. I went for toasty G Bomb, im a light weight I know!

Well that decision probably saved my life!

I was on my way outback & a wave was just about to crash on me, I jumped with my board at my side but the sheer power of the wave took the board out of my hands. The next thing I felt was a big wrench to my leg and suit. I instantly knew it was bad!

I grabbed my leg and asked my friend to grab my board..

I could hardly walk & just wanted to put pressure on the affected area.

I asked my friend if my suit was ripped. I knew it was but couldn't look. She looked and said u need to get to the van & I will call ambulance it looks pretty bad.

I got to the van where her 7 yr old son was. He was wearing his life guard hoody. Bless him I said Leo u may need to be chief lifeguard now!

Before I sat down zoe said I need to see your leg. I took down my suit, saw a glimpse of the inside of my leg & couldn't look any more.

Zoe then looked, grabbed the phone and called 999.

I just held my leg as tight as I could. I had my Rip Curl Flash Bomb on over it, which added pressure and cover it, & also put on my Wave Project Hoody to keep warm.

I could not look at the wound and knew I had to stay in control & not go into shock.

Zoe was finding it hard to get a good reception when talking to A&E, I was getting worried and said please get Tom from Surf Steps.

Zoe's son Leo knows him & Zoe asked him to get Tom, a member of the public was walking by at the time & said I will go with him.

Leo went straight to the office where and said my mums friend is injured we need Tom. Tom was in the water taking a lesson, his colleague called him in & he ran straight to me with Leo.

By the time Tom got to me another member of the pubic, who was a A&E nurse from up North was with me,.(She was a life saver) Thank you :0)

Zoe was still on the phone.

She said I need to see your wound so I can talk to paramedics.

I let her take down my suit..

I could not look & just squeezed Toms hands..

She then spoke to them and said its pretty deep. She said to me, I may need to stay overnight as it is quite deep & may need washing out properly. (Worst case scenario)

Both Tom & the lady said we need to get the wetsuit off otherwise it will be cut off..

It's a thick suit & very tight, apparently it was not a easy job as my leg was stuck to it & flesh coming out of my leg. I saw some on the floor of the van. Gross!!!

They got it off plus my 7mm Flash Bomb Boots.. (Which I struggle to get off myself)

Toms circulation in his hands had pretty much been cut off by the time they had finished as I squeezed them so tight.

I kept calm, In fact we all did.

The nurse then got dome dressing until a&e turned up.

Firstly a quick responder then the ambulance.

I was then taken to hospital.

I had 10 stitches... & it then bled a lot once at hospital and no pressure on it.

The Doctor said I was really lucky as it was right nr my artery & very deep.

The next day I got an infection and after speaking up my sister who is a Doctor went back to A&E.

They re dressed the wound, gave me stronger antibiotics and crutches.

9 days later I had my stiches out! I didn't want them out. But it was time to.

I then cried for the first time!

Baby I know, I locked myself in the toilet at the Docs & cried!

Haha... I just wanted the stiches to stay in. It felt safer.

Part of the wound was still open & by the next day I was back to the nurse as more of it had opened.

I had the sticky stitches on for 2 weeks & had them taken off on Xmas Eve.

I have also got three blood clots in my veins above the wound, where I think the area was traumatised as that part was very bruised after the accident. I am going to request a ultra sound scan as I am a Airline Stewardess & a bit worried re flying.

Tom has fixed my Flash Bomb wetsuit.

The hole in my suit is in the lower part if the leg, right near a seam. Nowhere near the injury.

I think my suit saved my life! If that seam had not been there, I would have been in a much worse state for sure.

The fin must have wrenched itself up & then injured me.

The injury is on the upper inside of my knee to half way up my leg.

I have looked at my other winter suit & keep doing so, as honestly if I had worn that I perhaps would not be here now.

Thank you Rip Curl for making such a great suit.