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Baby joy for couple who broke their backs when a tree fell on them

News | Published:

  • Adam and Glenda Budworth both broke their backs when a tree fell on them during a blizzard
  • The couple spent three months recovering from the accident on the Railway Walk
  • Two years after the accident they have just had their first baby, daughter Dolly-Rae
  • ‘Having Dolly-Rae is a miracle in itself, and we are just delighted to have her’

A COUPLE whose backs were broken when they were hit by a falling tree during a blizzard have welcomed a new addition to their family – despite the odds being stacked against them.

Adam Budworth (41) and his wife, Glenda (38), welcomed baby Dolly-Rae into the world on 27 March, almost two years after their accident in 2013.

The pair were struck by the tree on the Railway Walk on their way back from the Hospital on 11 March 2013.

Mrs Budworth had been for a blood-test after beating a rare form of cancer, which meant it was 'unlikely' that she would be able to have children naturally.

Both Mr and Mrs Budworth suffered multiple injuries in the accident, which left them unable to walk without aid.

By coincidence, Mr Budworth had photographed the tree during his walk
Jersey was blanketed by snow in March, 2013

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They both had to wear a back brace for three months and could not drive for several weeks after the accident, which meant that they had to be looked after by Mrs Budworth's sister at her home in St John.

Now though, after more than five years of unfortunate circumstances, the pair, who live in St Brelade, are able to enjoy some time off work with their baby daughter.

Mr Budworth, who is the director of Grant Thornton, an accountancy firm, said that having Dolly-Rae was 'unbelievable' and that although he did not believe that either he or Mrs Budworth were particularly 'deserving people', he did feel that they had finally got what they deserved.

Several trees fell down during the storms in March, 2013

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'We have been through enough and we are unique in what we have been through. We are not unique in having to deal with what we have, but our experiences have been,' he added.

Although some may view the couple's experiences as a time of hardship, they said that they do not see it that way and would not change any part of the journey that they have had together in the past few years.

'I would not change it for the world. Everything we have been through – the cancer, the broken backs – were just stepping stones to get to where we are now,' Mrs Budworth said.

'Having Dolly-Rae is a miracle in itself, and we are just delighted to have her.'

The couple, who said that they felt 'lucky to be alive' after the accident, have both made a full recovery and are looking forward to the future with their new baby.

The tree fell during a heavy period of snow

The couple told the JEP at the time how they crawled to safety with badly broken backs after being hit by a falling tree at the height of Monday's blizzard.

Adam and Glenda Budworth dragged themselves out from under the giant tree on the Railway Walk after screaming for help for more than five minutes as Jersey was battered by the worst snow storm in 34 years.

Mr Budworth then called the emergency services on his mobile phone as passers-by rushed to help them.

Talking to the JEP from his hospital bed, Mr Budworth, told how he left his parents at his home in Pont Marquet, St Brelade, as he set off to meet his wife in St Aubin – and jokingly told them to send out a search party if they didn't return within an hour.

Will Lingard was one of the first people who helped the Budworths

And on the way down the path, Mr Budworth even took a picture of the half-fallen tree which would collapse on top of him and his wife as they walked back up just 20 minutes later.

Describing the incident, Mr Budworth, a chartered accountant and partner at accountancy firm Mazars, said: 'It was very noisy with the wind and we didn't even have a second's warning before it was on top of us.'

Within seconds the couple were trapped under the tree.

''We were crying out for help for five minutes or so but no-one was going to hear us in that wind unless they'd walked past,' said Mr Budworth.

'We actually managed to pull ourselves out from under the tree just as the first people arrived.

'Glenda managed – I don't know how – to get her broken leg out from under her bottom to create a couple of inches of spare room where I could free my arms.'

Passers-by, paramedics and firefighters then arrived at the scene and cleared the tree before the couple were stretchered into an ambulance on a spinal board.

But their arrival in hospital was delayed after a tree fell onto a number of cars on Mont Les Vaux and blocked part of the road.

Mr Budworth, whose parents were visiting the Island to celebrate his recent birthday, said that the couple would like to thank all those who helped them and added: 'There were some great passers-by who helped.

'The honorary police and the paramedics were brilliant and of course the fire crew as all of these had to carry the spinal boards down the track to the ambulance.'

Adam and Glenda Budworth were helped to recover from their spinal injuries with their carers Jackie and Mark Thompson

Mr Budworth suffered fractured vertebrae, two breaks to his left leg and a dislocated toe, and needed a Zimmer frame or crutches to move around while he recovered.

Mrs Budworth, who had recently beaten a rare form of cancer at the time of the accident, also fractured the same part of her back and suffered a compound fracture in her left leg. She was also using a wheelchair and Zimmer frame to help her move.

The couple, who had to wear back braces for three months, live in St Brelade but after the accident were looked after by Mrs Budworth's sister, Jackie, and her husband, Mark Thompson, at their home in St John.

The house had to be modified, with shower seats being installed and a Zimmer frame placed at the top and bottom of the stairs by occupational therapists.

Speaking to the JEP shortly after being discharged from hospital, Mr Budworth, a chartered accountant and partner at accountancy firm Mazars, said: 'We are not even 40 years old and we are sitting like OAPs in a nursing home.'

Although Mr Budworth kept his sense of humour about their ordeal, he feels they have had more than their fair share of bad luck recently.

'Glenda was just recovering from a rare form of cancer diagnosed 18 months ago,' he said.

'She got the all-clear in November and four months later we ended up getting stuck under a tree.'

Mr Budworth also had to be operated on, having pins and plates inserted into his back at a hospital in Taunton.

The couple also had to cancel a number of events that they had planned to attend, including the Grand National, tickets for which were a Christmas present from Mrs Budworth, and watching Jersey Rugby Club play in Newcastle and in Cornwall.

Mr Budworth thanked everyone who helped out on the night of the snowstorm and said he was also very touched by the 100 'get well soon' cards they received, 20 of which were from a class at La Moye School.

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