Yorkshire trampoline park horror: Warning from mother who 'snapped her foot off' while trampolining

A mother has told how she nearly had to have her foot amputated after her foot "snapped off" while she was trampolining.

Victoria McDonald, 34, was bouncing between trampolines when she felt a "slight twinge" in her right ankle

Victoria McDonald, 34, was bouncing between trampolines at an indoor centre with her son, sister and nephew when she felt a "slight twinge" in her right ankle.

She looked down and her ankle was hanging off her leg - attached by just the skin - because she'd shattered all the bones in the joint.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Medics discovered she'd torn every ligament, ripped every tendon and broken three bones in her ankle - leading to surgeons advising amputation from the ankle down.

Victoria's ankle scar

But thankfully her foot was saved after they "sucked out" the bone fragments, with torn tendons and ligaments sewn back into place and pins inserted to reattach the bones.

One of the joints in Victoria's heel was also removed during the five and half hour operation.

The mum-of-one spent weeks with a cage strapped round her leg, and she still can't run, drive for long distances or wear anything but flat shoes.

Administrator Victoria, from Harrogate, is speaking out to warn people to be careful on trampolines.

Doctors recommended having her foot amputated

She said: "I felt like a twinge – like if you’ve ever fallen off a curb and you get that twinge – it felt like that. I turned over and my leg was literally attached by the skin on left hand side of my leg.

“If I tried to move it would have ripped off - blood was all over the trampoline. It was surreal - I didn’t think it was real and then my son started screaming. There were kids still jumping on the trampoline I was sat on.

“I didn’t realise how many deaths happen at trampoline parks – how many injuries happen there. Some of my friends have trampolines in their gardens and my son won’t go near one. If their kids are jumping, I can’t watch them either – it gives me such anxiety.

“When you do go to trampoline park you sign a waiver to go in, so you get no compensation. If you go on to a no win no fee page – all of them refuse to take on trampoline parks.”

Victoria McDonald

Victoria said it was the fourth time she’d visited Point Zero Trampoline Park, formerly Energi in Poppleton, York in October 2019.

The injury occurred while jumping from one trampoline to another towards the end of the session, with her son.

Staff rushed over and an ambulance was called.

Victoria was rushed to York Hospital, where numerous surgeons debated whether it was too late to save her foot. But eventually a decision was made to operate.

She said: “They took X-rays and sent them to five orthopaedic surgeons. Three came back and said there was no saving it – was too damaged and they said to amputate.

“They tried multiple attempts to get it together – it took five and a half hours. I came out and had the frame on – they then said they’d never seen anything like that. Every ligament was torn, tendon ripped, they had to suction out two bones as I’d shattered them and there was no fixing them.”

Victoria then had an agonising seven weeks with the frame strapped to her leg – and would only find out if she was keeping her foot after it was removed.

“They said after seven weeks if my foot collapsed there’s nothing, they could do but fully amputate,” she said. “So, I had to live with that for seven weeks.”

Thankfully the surgery had succeeded, but Victoria still had to endure months of pain and rehabilitation.

“I had to learn to walk again,” she said. “I hadn’t been allowed to put my foot on floor for seven weeks. And then because of Covid I couldn’t have physiotherapy – so I was just at home doing exercises.

“After about eight or nine months of everything I started to be able to try drive again, and now I’m rehabbing in the gym. But there are limitations. I’m never allowed to wear heals, I’m not allowed to go out in the snow and I can never run again.

“Because of the damage my foot and ankle still swell randomly from everyday life. I work in admin, so I sit in desk all day – at the end of the day my foot looks like a watermelon.

“It’s just so painful. It will be two years in October, and I’m still so limited in what I can do. It’s just so limiting. I’ve got a walking stick I need to take everywhere.

“I was very overweight a few years ago and worked hard to lose it to be able to be more active and do more things with my son. But now I’m limited – we can’t go for days out as a couple of hours in I can’t walk anymore."