Suzanne Jarvis is my fourth cousin, once removed and daughter of Leslie Jarvis and Elsie Breckin. Below is a newspaper article published shortly after an inquest into her tragic death.
THE ADVERTISER, FRI. MAY 25TH, 1984
HORSE FALL GIRL HAD BLOOD CLOT IN HER HEART
A contraceptive pill could have contributed to the death of a 21 years-old girl who died almost a month after being thrown from a horse, a Rotherham inquest heard this week.
Suzanne Jarvis, of Simmonite Road, Kimberworth Park, died in Rotherham District General Hospital from a blood clot in her heart.
At the time, doctors were finally winning their battle to heal the injuries she sustained in the riding accident, revealed Dr David Slater, the consultant pathologist at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.
Suzanne was thrown from her horse on January 7th, while she and her friend, 17 years-old Julie Hatfield, were exercising two horses from a riding stables on West Bawtry Road, where Julie was on a youth training scheme.
As the girls rode towards Whiston traffic lights, Suzanne’s horse started to shy as an articulated lorry went by.
Suzanne, who was leading the way, was thrown into the road after the horse fell down on its right side.
Julie said that the horse had turned 180 degrees while shying, but added that she hadn’t seen exactly what had happened next because she was struggling to keep her own horse under control.
Delivery driver Mr Anthony Doddy, who was following the lorry up the hill told the inquest the lorry was going very slowly and was not particularly close to the kerb.
He remembered seeing a horse’s tail and looking in to his rear mirror to see if he could pull out because he knew there was something ahead in the road.
“As I got nearer, I saw the girl lying in the road and I had to swerve to avoid her”, he said.
Lorry driver Mr Graham Kelly said the horse could have been frightened by the noise the engine of his lorry, which was carrying six tonnes of red dust for BSC.
“The lorry was making a lot of noise, but I didn’t expect it to disturb the horses. As I drew level with the first one, I saw its head go back and, when I looked in my near-side mirror, I saw the rear of the horse come close to the trailer, so I stopped further up to find out what exactly had happened”, he said.
Forensic tests showed that there was blue paint on some of Suzanne’s clothes and footwear which matched that from the near side mudguard of the lorry. But no traces were found on the saddle or on the horse, which suffered only slight scratches and lacerations, which were thought to have been caused when it struggled to its feet.
When Suzanne was admitted to the accident emergency unit at the the District Hospital, she was found to be suffering from multiple injuries.
Consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Mr Patrit Majumdar told the inquest she had fractured pelvis bones which were causing a pelvic haemorrhage. Because of this he didn’t prescribe anti coagulant therapy – treatment which would have helped to prevent blood clots from forming.
“If I had given her this treatment during the first week after the accident she would have died within 48 hours from a massive internal haemorrhage” he said.
“We had to weigh the risks” he added.
The day Suzanne died she was visited by two plastic surgeons from the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, who were to perform skin grafts on her legs.
She had to have operations on her legs to remove skin which had died through lack of blood, explained Mr Majumdar.
Another doctor told how impressed they were with the treatment Suzanne was receiving.
The court heard that Suzanne died at 11pm, after a major disturbance in her heart.
Consultant pathologist Dr David Slater said “It was probably the immobilisation which caused the deep veined thrombosis from which she died but with her type of injuries immobilisation was inevitable.”
“There is a small but significant risk of clots to any woman on the contraceptive pill – as was Suzanne”, he added. “It is unlikely that this was the cause f her clots, but it was an initiating factor.”
He added that thrombosis could set in despite the greatest medical care and attention.
The horse which Suzanne was riding was a seven years-old gelding which had been lodged at the stables for three months.
Its owner, Christine Griffiths, of Sheffield, explained that she had frequently exercised it on the same route. It had never showed signs of shying.
The inquest also heard that Suzanne was a proficient horse rider, who was studying to become an instructress.
Coroner Mr Kenneth Potter recorded a verdict of accidental death.