TV presenter recovers after accident

TELEVISION presenter Stuart Jarrold is recovering in America after suffering serious injuries in a skiing accident while on holiday in Aspen with former players and friends from Ipswich Rugby Club.

TELEVISION presenter Stuart Jarrold is recovering in America after suffering serious injuries in a skiing accident while on holiday in Aspen with former players and friends from Ipswich Rugby Club.

The 60 year old Anglia sports presenter, who lives at Hoxne near Eye, suffered ten broken ribs, a punctured lung and broke a bone at the base of his spine. He was detained in the intensive care unit at Aspen Valley hospital in Colorado for two days on oxygen before being transferred to a general ward for another four days.

After being discharged however had to remain at the world famous ski resort as an out patient, unable to fly home until his condition improved.

Speaking from Aspen he said: ” I had considerable difficulty in breathing after the accident and the medical staff needed to monitor that and my general condition around the clock. I had twice daily x rays and mri and cat scans and the doctors and nurses were absolutely first class”

For the past nine years former players of Ipswich Rugby Club and friends have travelled to various ski resorts in the USA on trips organised by Mark Brown. The accident happened on the penultimate day of this year's seven-day holiday on Highlands Mountain at Aspen.

Stuart Jarrold, who has been skiing for over 25 years, explained what happened: “It was the first run of the day in perfect snow conditions.

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“We were all going quite fast - around 40 to 45 miles an hour according to a personal wrist satnav gadget one of the chaps had brought along. There was a clear open piste in front of me and suddenly I was hit at high speed by someone else.

“When I picked myself up I realized it was by one of my own colleagues on the trip, Karl King, a former Ipswich rugby club captain.”

Another former Ipswich rugby club captain Rob Shurety, who was following the pair down the slope, saw what happened.

“ They were both skiing fast on opposite sides of the empty piste. Then each made a wider carving turn and must have been in the others blind spot and they just collided. It was a freak accident and no ones fault.”

Fortunately King came off lightly, suffering only bruising and soreness to his hip and shoulder.

He said: “At the time no one realised just how badly Stuart was hurt. He stood up and I went over to him and I thought he would be OK after a rest. Someone called the ski patrol who took him off down the slope on a stretcher for what we all thought was a precautionary x-ray.

“I remarked that he was only winded and we would all see him relaxing in the hot tub later. “

It was a major surprise when members of the party visited Aspen Valley hospital to see the Suffolk man in intensive care. Others on the trip were Nick Hall, Mark Wright, Pete Wild, Dave King and John Cummings.

To explain his absence from the Anglia TV screen, Stuart gave a live telephone interview broadcast to viewers on ITV Anglia West, from Aspen. He has also been featured on local television, radio and newspapers in Aspen during his enforced stay.

Since his hospital discharge the television presenter has had to attend hospital for regular check ups and x rays and has now been given the all clear by American doctors to fly home.

“The punctured lung has apparently healed sufficiently for me to fly - but my insurance company insist on flying out a doctor from London to accompany me in case of any problems. Now I hope a seat on a plane can be found in the next day or so.”

The injuries have meant that Jarrold senior was not able to watch his youngest son Tom take part in an important ski race in Switzerland.

“The day after my originally scheduled return to England I was due to fly out to Geneva to watch Tom race in the Welsh Championships, being held in Champery.”

13 year old Tom, a pupil at Framlingham College, is currently studying and training with the British Ski Academy based at Chamonix.

“The good news was that he sent me a text message to say he had finished fourth in his age group in the slalom and ninth overall and he was happy with that.”

But while his son stays in France to prepare for the British Children's' Championships at Easter in Meribel, the ITV Anglia man will definitely be packing away his skis - at least until next season. And his injuries also mean he will miss the final golf match marking the end of his year as Captain of the Suffolk based Pheasants Golf Society at the end of the month.

“It's been a pretty painful experience but I won't stop skiing - I may just slow down a little in future” he said.

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