Shropshire Star

Shropshire MP Owen Paterson breaks his back in fall from horse

Shropshire MP Owen Paterson has suffered severe back injuries after an accident while horse riding.

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Mr Paterson is being treated in the Midlands Centre for Spinal Injuries at Oswestry's Orthopaedic Hospital after his horse fell while he was riding at the weekend.

Speaking from his hospital bed in the internationally renowned unit at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Gobowen, the Conservative MP stressed he was still working and would continue his constituency and other work through emails and contact with his office.

An accomplished rider, the MP said it was ironic that he was now a patient in the unit that he and his wife Rose raised £60,000 for by completing the toughest horse race in the world, the Mongol Derby.

Owen and Rose Paterson on the tough Mongol Derby

His horse fell while he was riding on Saturday and, after initially going the accident and emergency at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, he was transferred to the specialist spinal unit when it was discovered that he had broken three vertebrae.

"Apparently I was very lucky not to have suffered more serious injury," he said.

"I have been told that I have to have complete bed rest, so I will not be going to London, at least for this week. But I am constantly in touch with the office.

"I was so relieved to be in this incredible, world class unit at the Orthopaedic hospital in Gobowen. The staff are exceptionally professional, exceedingly caring and have a huge amount of expertise."

Oswestry's Orthopaedic Hospital

Mr Paterson said he had connections with the Orthopaedic Hospital before he became the area's MP.

"I was on the board of the Institute of Orthopaedics and chaired the committee which saw the Leopold Muller Arthritis Research Centre built at the hospital.

"My wife, Rose, and I raised £60,000 for this very unit when we took part in the Mongol Derby in 2011.


"Even more ironically it is the toughest horse race in the world, 14 hours a day of hard riding for nine days on 25 different and very difficult horses.

"Fellow riders broke ribs, shoulders and other bones in falls during the race. Rose and I always said we were so lucky to complete it unscathed. We raised £60,000 for the Midlands Centre for Spinal Injuries and £60,000 for the Royal Irish Regiment Benevolent Fund by completing the challenge."

"Now I am getting to see, from a view I never thought I would, how amazing this centre is."

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