Woman dies in freak snowboarding accident

Feb. 18, 2012 at 7:06 PM

HAMPSHIRE, England, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- A 59-year-old British woman died following a snowboarding accident at an Austrian ski resort, officials said.

Sandra Thompson was celebrating her 59th birthday with her family on a snowboarding trip in Austria when she fell, The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

Although she was wearing a helmet during the incident Feb. 6, Thompson suffered severe brain swelling.

"My youngest son, Christopher, was snowboarding with her and she just went up a small rise and toppled backwards and hit her head on the snow," said Thompson's husband, David. "She was wearing a helmet and my son was with her within 10 seconds, but she was already unconscious."

Thompson said by the time he reached his wife and son, an air ambulance had already been called.

"They spent about half an hour with her on the slope, putting adrenalin and oxygen into her, but we could tell it wasn't good. It was horrible," he said.

Sandra Thompson, a mother of two sons, was airlifted to a hospital where she was on life support for almost 48 hours, until family members decided to take her off.

"One minute everything is fine, you're all enjoying yourselves, laughing and joking," David Thompson said. "The next minute Sandra was unconscious and never came around. I'm absolutely stunned, we all are. We're struggling to understand how it happened because it was an innocuous little fall, which makes it so hard to comprehend.

"She was always there for myself and the boys. The house feels so empty without her," David Thompson said.

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