Sunday, 14 August 2022

Mother breaks hip running the London Marathon

A WOMAN who broke her hip during the London Marathon has spoken of her ordeal.

A WOMAN who broke her hip during the London Marathon has spoken of her ordeal.

Clare Pagdin, 38, thought she had only damaged a muscle when she had to stop running after almost 18 miles due to the pain from her injury.

It was only after she was taken to hospital the next day that it was discovered she had broken her left hip and needed an operation urgently.

Mrs Pagdin, a solicitor, is now recovering at her home in Dark Lane, Wargrave, after being discharged on Saturday, six days after the marathon.

She said: “They said that if the break had been a little bit higher I might have needed a new hip, which is really scary.

“Now I have six weeks on crutches and no moving or lifting or driving.”

Mrs Pagdin, a mother-of-two, had spent six months training for the marathon and had no inkling of what was to come when she lined up at the start.

She said: “For the first six miles of the run I felt great — I had a really good pace and was enjoying the crowds. It felt comfortable. But from then on it started to get more and more stiff and painful and by about 13 miles I was needing to run, then walk a little. It was not really right but I thought I had done all that training and did not want to let everyone down — I had supporters down the course and wanted to get there and get to the end, even if I had to walk.

“Then just before the 18-mile mark I took a step to my left and I could not put my foot on the ground — I could not move.

“I was shocked. I was stuck on one leg, holding on to the barrier that separates the crowd from the runners.

“People were kind of looking at me saying, ‘Oh my God’ but a marshal came up quickly and carried me to the St John Ambulance base, which was just there luckily. The physio asked me if I wanted her to get me going again and I said yes but when she tried to massage my hip it was quite apparent that there was no way. It was so painful, I could not possibly carry on.

“I was absolutely gutted that I was not going to finish and I was sobbing. It was very emotional. I assumed I had a serious muscular injury, I did not contemplate anything else. You think of lack of energy, muscle strain, dehydration, but at my age you don’t think that bones can just break like that.”

Mrs Pagdin, a member of Wargrave Runners, was met by her husband Adrian and six-year-old daughter Nicolette.

She said: “Thankfully, I had my phone so they came to find me but we were sort of stranded at Canary Wharf and all I wanted was to get home. I was trying not to cry or scream.”

Her husband was helped by some strangers to carry her to an underground station. They caught a Tube train to Waterloo and then a train to Teddington, where they met their four-year-old son Oliver, who had been staying with friends, before driving home. Mrs Pagdin spent the night on a sofa bed in the lounge and realised she needed to go to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading the next day.

She was given an X-ray, which revealed the extent of her hip injury.

“They were really surprised when they came back and told me that it was broken,” she said. “I was told that I might have had a stress fracture before but they could not be sure of the sequence of events.”

Mrs Pagdin was admitted and the next day underwent an operation to insert a dynamic hip screw in her hip ball joint.

She said: “I was really lucky but it was a complete break so I had to stay in hospital five days as I could not move.I was also on really strong morphine-type medication and had to have physio just to make sure I could get up and about.”

Mrs Pagdin had been running to raise money for the Cornelia De Lange Foundation, which works to promote early and accurate diagnosis of the development disorder. Her total so far is £1,500. She said: “It is not a very well-known charity and they do not receive government funding. I chose them because my sister-in-law’s sister had a baby last year who was born with the syndrome, which had gone undiagnosed.

“It is a really nasty condition and as a mum I was really touched by it. When you read about the condition, it is the worst combination of everything. It is physical deformity and mental problems and shortened life expectancy. I had always wanted to run a marathon and I thought that I needed to raise some money for this family who had gone through such a lot.”

Mrs Pagdin’s training was going well up until a few weeks before the marathon.

She said: “I was really keen as I have only taken up running a bit more seriously in the last 18 months and have been increasing my distances.

“In the last year I have completed the Henley half, Reading half and Wokingham half marathons and they have all been fine.

“I had been training for London for the last six months and had a proper training plan which went all through the freezing ice and rain. I was running three or four times a week and it was all going really well — I was doing all the right things.

“Then I had some real soreness in my hip muscle but thought that if you are running those sort of distances you will get that.

“I went to the physio and they were confident it was nothing to worry about. I felt stiff but it was not really painful, although I did not run for several weeks. I thought then that I probably would not do the sort of time that I was hoping for but I had run up to 19 miles in training really comfortably so I thought I would give it a go.”

Mrs Pagdin said she woke up on the day of the marathon day feeling “fine”.

“I was not taking any painkillers and when I got to the start line I was really excited,” she said. “The most gutting thing about it all is I had a vision of running down The Mall and collecting my finisher’s medal. I had done all that training and feel really bad for the charity that I did not finish but it was impossible to walk so there was no way.”

Mrs Pagdin is keen to be active again as soon as possible but admitted that running might not be an option.

“I will be off work for a little bit and long-term there is lots of physio,” she said. “Adrian has been really supportive and the people in Wargrave have been amazing with offers to look after the kids and help with the housework.”

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