Teenage dancer suffers horror injury normally reserved for rugby players

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Emily Hackett from Caerphilly underwent surgery after ripping her hamstring from the bone in her right leg


A teenage dancer has described the excruciating moment she was struck down with a severe injury – usually associated with high impact sports like rugby or skiing.


Emily Hackett, 15, was competing in the first round of the British Latin American Dance Championships in Blackpool when she tore the hamstring completely off the bone in her right leg.


Emily, from Abertridwr, Caerphilly, has since had surgery to re-attach the muscle but the severity of her injury has baffled doctors, who say it is almost unheard of outside high velocity sports like rugby.


“We were halfway throught the routine, I did the splits and all of a sudden something popped in my leg and I freaked out a bit,” said St Cenydd Comprehensive School pupil Emily, who has been dancing since she was 9.


“I couldn’t put any weight on my leg and then I fell. I had to be wheeled off, they stopped the music and I had to go to hospital.”


“It was horrible.”


Traumatised mum Lisa Williams witnessed the incident, at Winter Gardens in Blackpool.


“It was awful,” she said.


“When she hit the floor I knew as a mother something was wrong because Emily would have got up straight away. I knew when Emily wasn’t getting straight back up she wasn’t getting up.


“You could the pain in her face and I just ran on to the dancefloor. They called paramedics and got us a wheelchair because we had to get Emily off the floor.”


“As a mother it was absolutely horrific.”


After a hour’s wait for an ambulance, Emily was taken by taxi to hospital, where accident and emergency staff informed her to seek further treatment upon returning home.


MRI scans revealed significant damage and Emily underwent surgery at Cardiff’s Spire Hospital last month.


“The doctors are quite baffled,” said Lisa, who expects Emily to recover fully.


“After the doctors did the MRI scan they were absolutely gobsmacked at what happened because they said they only see this in rugby players, skiers and bullfighters.”


Emily must wear a leg brace at all times and has missed some schooling.


“It has been really hard going but hopefully they’re going to take the brace off next week, so Emily’s going to be a lot more mobile but she will have a lot of physio,” added Lisa.


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