Cambridgeshire

Stag gore victim Dr Kate Stone returns to Scottish Highlands

Dr Kate Stone Image copyright Dr Kate Stone
Image caption Dr Stone said the NHS staff who had saved her life were "amazing people"

A woman from Cambridge who nearly died when she was gored by a stag in the Scottish Highlands plans to return to the area for the first time this week.

The "startled" animal ran at Dr Kate Stone, 45, on 30 December 2013 while she was on holiday near Fort William.

She was seriously injured and it was almost four months before she was able to eat solid food.

"I'm fully recovered and never thought I would be," she said. "I can't thank the doctors enough for saving me."

Dr Stone was in the garden of a house in Lochailort when the stag, believed to have become trapped there, ran towards her.

It knocked her over, impaling her throat with its antlers.

She was airlifted to Southern General Hospital in Glasgow and put into an induced coma.

Image caption Dr Stone was left with life-threatening injuries after a stag gored her throat
Image copyright Dr Kate Stone
Image caption It was almost four months before she was able to eat solid food

Her trachea and oesophagus were both pierced. The antlers damaged her vocal cords and fractured her neck.

Several months and three operations later, the scientist, who owns a high-tech print company, finally had the tubes through which she had been fed, removed.

Now back in Cambridge, Dr Stone said she had "thrown myself back into work".

"A year ago it was all about me and my accident - my 'stag-cident', as I call it - it was surreal, but now it's all about my work.

"What happened to me doesn't define who I am. It's all about stepping forwards, not looking backwards," Dr Stone said.

She is planning to camp while she walks through the Cairngorms this week.

"It is my first proper time back in the hills and sleeping out in the mountains overnight on my own is a little scary but it should be fun," she said.

"I think the cold and the snow will worry me more than any wild beasts."

However, she admitted: "I will be a little apprehensive if I see a stag.

"I was camping recently and heard deer barking in the woods. It terrified me, but I won't let fear hold me back.

"I'm not trying to conquer nature and I know the deer are not out there to get me.

"I'm doing this because it's something I love doing in a place I love being."

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