Newport nurse in the thick of Olympic BMX action
OLYMPIC DUTY: Nurse Jess Arthurs, circled, and her medical colleagues stretcher off a BMX rider injured in one of the heats
NURSE Jess Arthurs had a close-up view of the thrills, spills and danger of Olympic GamesBMXbike racing as part of a medical team assigned to help stricken riders.
And she helped attend to the victim of one of London 2012’s most spectacular crashes.
Brazilian Squel Stein was among several riders to crash out of the men’s and women’s events in spectacular fashion – but for one terrible moment even hardened medics feared the worst as she lay sprawling on the track.
“The helmet made it look worse, but she looked as if her head was twisted the opposite way to the rest of her body,” said Miss Arthurs, clinical lead nursing sister in emergency care at the Royal Gwent Hospital.
One of tens of thousands of volunteers across a range of disciplines and from all walks of life who helped make the Olympic Games and the current Paralympic Games such a success, Miss Arthurs, from Caerwent, spent four days at the BMX track.
Among the difficulties facing medical teams at the BMX arena was that they were not allowed to touch fallen competitors without asking them, as such outside interference resulted in disqualification.
“Often riders couldn’t hear us through their helmets, and we couldn’t hear them,” she said.
“In this case she looked lifeless.
We gave her a couple of seconds to move, and she moved her arm, but she wasn’t getting up, so we moved in.
“It took three and a half minutes to get her up and off the track, and that was good going considering the circumstances.”
Stein was later on her feet and was wearing a neck brace. PANEL ‘The best experience of my entire life’ AS WELL as her “full-on” BMX duty, Miss Arthurs spent six days with medical teams at the equestrian events in Greenwich.
This included being on the cross- country section of the three-day event, in which Team GB won a silver medal, and in the show-jumping arena when Team GB won the gold medal.
“It was the best experience of my entire life,”
said Miss Arthurs, who added that the IOC (International Olympic Committee) has inquired about the possibility of her going to Rio (for the 2016 Games). “I wouldn’t hesitate,” she said.
Also on duty from Gwent were emergency nurse practitioner Sara Lee, who covered gymnastics at the Olympics and Paralympics, and practice educator Emma Edwards, who was deployed at the Olympic hockey tournament.