'My husband shot me by accident'

A WOMAN last night spoke of the moment she was accidentally shot in the ankle by her husband in a freak incident at a Suffolk lake.

Craig Robinson

A WOMAN last night spoke of the moment she was accidentally shot in the ankle by her husband in a freak incident at a Suffolk lake.

Mandy Hudson said she feared surgeons would have to amputate her leg from the knee down because they would be unable to treat the wound.

However following a string of operations - including reconstructive surgery and skin grafts - the limb has been saved and she is now recovering at home.

You may also want to watch:

Mrs Hudson and her husband Jon, who live in Walnut Tree Avenue, Rendlesham, were locking up at Bromeswell Lakes, near Woodbridge, when the accident happened at the beginning of May.

Mr Hudson, 47, leaseholder at the lakes, tripped on a rabbit hole and as he fell the shotgun he was carrying discharged - shooting his wife in the ankle.

Most Read

“I'd had a really good day and said I'd go with him for a walk, because I never usually go,” Mrs Hudson said last night. “He fell down a rabbit hole and I heard him yell and then I heard the gun shot. It wasn't until I thought, 'what am I doing on the grass' and then tried to get up that I realised that I was actually injured.

“I didn't feel anything at first because of the shock - that came later. Jon phoned the ambulance and kept apologising - I think he was in shock as well. The police arrived and kept asking me questions but at this point I was finding it more and more difficult because it was starting to become very painful.”

When the ambulance arrived Mrs Hudson, 49, was taken to Ipswich Hospital, where she was to stay for around a week before being transferred to the Royal London Hospital.

She was kept in for two months and had to undergo a string of operations to keep her wound clean as well as a skin graft from her back to her ankle.

From the start doctors made clear that she could lose her foot - and she even had discussions with consultants about the possibility of a prosthetic limb.

“When I arrived at Ipswich they took my shoe off and realised I could still move my foot, which was quite a surprise,” Mrs Hudson said. “I had the wound cleaned every other day and then after a week I was transferred to London. I was there for about two months.

“I went down to surgery so many times. They had to break the bone in my leg and reset it and then I was given a flap skin graft, where they took skin from my back and put it round my ankle.

“I feared I would lose my leg below the knee. It was a choice that I thought I might have to make; it was always on my mind. I did have to prepare myself for the possibility and it was absolutely terrifying.”

For Mr Hudson, an accountant with Ipswich Borough Council, it has also been an extremely worrying couple of months.

“I think Jon found it difficult to begin with - it was hard for both of us,” Mrs Hudson said. “He was very concerned and was visiting me regularly.”

Fortunately, Mrs Hudson, who works for Deben View, which provides very sheltered housing for the elderly, is now on the road to recovery - although she is not expected to be fully mobile again for around a year.

The bone is still hardening in her leg and then she will under go physiotherapy to strengthen the muscles. However, she has no bone left in her ankle.

It means movement in her foot will be extremely difficult and she has already been told she will have to trade in her manual car for an automatic.

She is full of praise for everyone who has helped her during this difficult time and is now trying to put the accident behind her.

“I'm finding it very difficult to move around,” she said. “It can be extremely awkward and it takes me a long time to do anything. However, it makes me think of what might have been.

“Fortunately this is only temporary. I do have a fixated ankle but I am so grateful that I still have my leg and foot. I go back every two weeks at the moment for a check up. It will be a long road but we'll get there.

“Everyone has been so kind. The paramedics in the ambulance were brilliant and all the staff at both Ipswich and London have been excellent. They were all very kind and caring. In fact, it's been a bit of a shock coming home because there is not so many people to talk to.”

Mrs Hudson has also been using alternative therapies to help with her recovery and would like to thank Myra Brown at Light Star Complementary Healing and Training in Kesgrave, Wayne Johnson at the Aspen Centre in Ipswich and Peter Heath, who practices reiki and Pilates.

“I'd also like to say thank you to my friends and family who have been so supportive,” she said. “I've been back to the lake since the accident. I had to go at some point and I was a little nervous but generally OK. I did hear gunfire on the news the other day and I shot off the chair.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus