Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 22°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Lavenham/Chamonix: Bleak outlook for snowboarder

11:44 13 December 2012

Emily Watts was left critically ill after a snowboarding accident in the French Alps is unlikely to survive, her family said.

Emily Watts was left critically ill after a snowboarding accident in the French Alps is unlikely to survive, her family said.

THE family of a Suffolk woman injured in a freak snowboarding accident in the French Alps last night admitted the outlook is “very bleak”.

shares

Former theatre student Emily Watts, 26, from Lavenham, plunged head-first into a snow drift on the first day of the new ski season.

She was trapped for 45 minutes before paramedics reached her and evacuated her to hospital in Annecy on Saturday afternoon.

In a statement issued last night the family said: “There has been no progress with Mimi’s condition back in Annecy. The outlook is very bleak, but the support from friends and family all over the world continues to flood in at an increased pace, which is heart-warming and most welcome.

“We are governed by French law in this situation and have no say in the decision to continue her life support. It is entirely down to the French doctors at Annecy hospital. We have 100% faith that they will make a decision that is right for Mimi.”

They also revealed that a British man raised the alarm after spotting a mark in the snow.

“So far, we have spoken to the police, who have explained exactly what happened,” the statement said.

“She was at the edge of the piste where the snow was compacted and safe, but caught an edge and was catapulted into a 70cm pile of powder.

“From the middle of the piste it was impossible to see her unless you were within two metres of the accident site.

“Luckily a British man saw a mark in the snow as he skied past, stopped and ran back up the slope to check it out.

“We’re extremely grateful for that man’s efforts - when he discovered somebody was stuck he called for help.”

Last night Miss Watts’ family - mother Nicky McAllister, father Dominic and 28-year-old brother Rory - remained at her hospital bedside “hoping for a miracle”.

And Mrs McAllister moved to quash rumours she had been alone on the piste when the accident happened. She said: “That is not true and she would never do that. She was on piste and at the back of a group of friends.

“They got to the bottom and realised she wasn’t with them but, because she is such a competent snowboarder, it didn’t occur to them that anything might have happened.”

By the time emergency crews arrived, it is believed Miss Watts - also known as Mimi - had suffered a cardiac arrest, prompting fears of brain damage.

The design student was evacuated to hospital in nearby Annecy before being transferred to a specialist unit. It is believed no-one else was involved in the accident.

The experienced snowboarder had been in France for a few weeks and was working at the resort, her aunt said.

Miss Watts was in the Grands Montets, the largest pisted skiing area in the Chamonix Valley, when the accident happened.

She reportedly suffered the cardiac arrest while rescuers were struggling to reach her at the top of the Pierre a Ric run.

Miss Watts studied costume design at Sussex University and was due to begin a masters degree course in design. Her parents run an agricultural consultancy business from their home in Lavenham.

shares

0 comments

A beautiful day in Christchurch Park, Ipswich

If the weather goes according to forecast this weekend, the advice will be to make the most of tomorrow’s sunshine because thunder and rain could be on the way for Sunday.

Cambridgeshire singer Sam Smith performed at Thetford Forest

There were fears the second night of this summer’s Forest Live concerts would have to be cancelled when Sam Smith announced he was undergoing throat surgery.

Charles Mayes, pictured with friend Pat, who died in the crash.

A tipper truck driver “panicked” and drove off after a crash which saw another motorist die, a court has heard.

The cannabis factory found at Barry Copeland's house

A Suffolk man who allowed his house near Stowmarket town centre to be used as a cannabis factory has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Staff at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village and Country Park created a real life Hobbit hole fit for Bilbo Baggins - but now a holiday site want to create one you can sleep in

West Suffolk is set to be the home of the UK’s first replica, habitable “Hobbit Hole” from the popular JRR Tolkien fantasy books and films.

A turning HGV blocked a Suffolk road

The driver of an articulated lorry received some “strong words of advice” from police after his attempts to turn the vehicle blocked a Suffolk road.

Man taken to Colchester General Hospital for futher care.

A 28-year-old man was treated for smoke inhalation following a first floor flat blaze in Colchester.

The launch of the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust bike ride, which takes place on September 12. 
Peter Cook, Patrick Grieve and Terry Hunt.

An annual bike ride raising thousands of pounds to ensure the future of church buildings in Suffolk was officially launched today.

New figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre found that alcohol-related hospital admissions rose from 13,160 in 2012/13 to 13,250 in 2013/14 in the county.

The message comes despite a small rise in drink-related hospital admissions in the county last year.

Easton Farm Park is getting ready for the Maverick Festival this weekend.

The stage is set for a three-day celebration of transatlantic Americana, roots and folk music down on a Suffolk farm.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages