“She was bleeding profusely”: how a retired Nîmes police officer saved the life of a rider during a hike

“She was bleeding profusely”: how a retired Nîmes police officer saved the life of a rider during a hike

Gérald Carrasco stopping the bleeding on the face of Barbara, the rider, after her fall on the Voie de Rocamadour.

After being thrown off her horse, she lay in tall grass in the Causse de Gramat, suffering from a significant hemorrhage on her face and a fractured sternum. Gérald Carrasco, first aid instructor, watched over her for 55 minutes, before help arrived.

For a few weeks, Gérald Carrasco, a retired Nîmes police officer, kept this story quiet. Almost banal for this qualified first aid instructor who, for years, taught first aid at the Red Cross. This story, finally, he chose to share it, sending in particular a letter to the prefect of Gard, Jérôme Bonet, on the advice of several personalities: Barbara, rider from Cahors and SVT teacher, aged 52, he owes indeed life. The one she almost lost on May 31, in the Causse de Gramat.

"With my friend Annie Laforest, retired from the National Police, we decided, as hikers, to do the Rocamadour route, a variation of the route of Compostela, tells Gérald Carrasco. 5 kilometers from Gramat, we saw a man holding two donkeys crossing the path of a rider. Shortly after, we arrived in the recess where the horse was which, furious, galloped towards Annie who raised her walking sticks to stop him. After this big scare, we resumed our hike and then we said to ourselves: there was a rider on the horse."

Turning around, the duo set out to look for him before finding him, in a hollow, motionless, covered with tall grass. "The rider had a wound, 1 to 2 centimeters wide, on the left side of the face, which ran from the beginning of the hair to the jaw. She was bleeding profusely. While Annie called the ambulance, I put her in the side safety position."

Finger in the wound to stop the bleeding

The blood continued to flow, the Nîmes resolved to look for the source of the hemorrhage, spreading the edges of the wound before placing his finger. "Her pulse was weak, she wanted to sleep, I was talking to her." After 55 minutes , help arrived on this hiking trail lost in the countryside. "The Smur doctor gave us a thumbs-up to thank us for our intervention."

Transported to the Purpan hospital in Toulouse, Barbara was operated on for a double jaw fracture, also the victim of a sternum fracture and several traumas. "Philippe, her husband, called us the next day, smiles, moved, the one who is also Gard president of the association of veterans of the trials nuclear. He said we saved Barbara…"

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