In the summer of 2021, Dame Mary Berry spent 10 days in hospital after she broke her hip following an accident in her garden. “We have raised beds in the garden,” she explained. “And on a Sunday afternoon, I’d gone out to pick the last of the sweet peas when I tripped over some bricks and went down really hard.” Berry’s husband, Paul, was in the house at the time, watching cricket, while her daughter, Annabel, was playing in a tennis tournament.
Luckily, Berry had her mobile on her at the time, and while Paul mustn’t have took notice of his phone ringing, her son-in-law, Dan, did.
By her side within 10 minutes, Dan insisted on calling for an ambulance.
“I said, ‘Oh, no, I’m fine,’ but he overruled me,” Berry told the Daily Mail.
“We waited for three-and-a-half hours, until 6pm [for the ambulance]”, Berry revealed.
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“And quite right too!” she quipped. “I was perfectly happy. There may have been a road accident.”
Taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, in Reading, Berry was operated on the very next morning.
“I was never nervous,” Berry asserted. ” I didn’t get a shiny new hip. They just repaired the old one and popped it back in.
“And oh, they were all lovely! I had complete confidence in the doctors, and the nurses were brilliant.”
Berry stated: “Everything was first-rate. And I was so lucky. It was all NHS and I had my own little room – maybe they thought I’d be trouble.”
The fracture happened in August of last year, and Berry had to endure physiotherapy during her recovery process.
The NHS points out: “Falls are very common among older people, especially in people aged 80 and over.
“Hip fractures are also more common in women, who are more likely to get osteoporosis, a condition which makes bones weak and fragile.”
A hip fracture following a fall can lead to an array of symptoms, including:
- Not being able to lift, move or rotate (turn) your leg
- Not being able to stand or put weight on your leg
- Bruising and swelling around your hip
- Your injured leg appearing shorter than your other leg
- Your injured leg turning outwards.
Requiring medical assistance, Dan made the right call by getting in contact with the emergency services.
“Surgery is usually the only treatment option for a hip fracture,” the NHS confirms.
The fracture is either fixed with plates, screws, or rods – akin to Berry – or a partial or complete hip replacement is needed.
“The day after surgery, you should have a physiotherapy assessment and be given a rehabilitation programme,” the NHS adds.
To help reduce the risk of further falls, older adults are encouraged by the NHS to do exercises that help improve their balance.
Any hazards around the home, such as loose carpeting, should be corrected to help minimise the risk of falls and fractures.
Mary Berry – Cook & Share airs on BBC Two, September 7 at 8pm.
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