By Charles Wade-Palmer
This must be one of the unluckiest couples ever after breaking three out of four arms in freak snowboarding accidents just days apart.
Guest house owners Samantha and Stuart Smith from Porthleven, Cornwall were just two hours into their dream trip in Austria when novice Sam fell backwards breaking one arm and badly fracturing the other.
After the horror fall, Samantha was forced to endure a gondola lift ride half way down the slopes followed by a skidoo ride the rest of the way before her husband managed to get her into a car and take her to hospital.
There, doctors revealed unlucky Samantha would need a metal plate and 10 pins in her right arm and would have to have both arms in plaster.
After a short stay in hospital Samantha flew home to recover while Stuart stayed on at the Alpendorf Ski Resort with friends.
But just a few days later Samantha received a phone call in the middle of the night and discovered her husband, Stuart, had also suffered an accident on the slopes resulting in a broken right arm.
Stuart had hit a metal bar at speed and in a bizarre coincidence also required a metal plate and 10 pins in his right arm.
And despite having just one broken arm Stuart had been stretchered off the slopes unlike poor Samantha who had to make her own way down.
After his operation Stuart eventually flew home to join Samantha and just two weeks later the couple – still both in plaster casts – braved the slopes again on a family skiing trip to Switzerland with their two children Etienne, 13 and Imogen, 16.
Samantha said: “It was my first time snowboarding so I was making my way down the edge when I suddenly fell backwards.
“I put both my arms out to break the fall and landed on a hard compact bit of snow.
“Straight away I knew my right arm was broken but I wasn’t sure about my left. I wasn’t crying or screaming but it definitely hurt.
“I couldn’t get the board off my feet or do anything but luckily Stuart was nearby to help.
“I had to get on the gondola lift to get half way down the slope and then a skidoo to get the rest of the way down.
“The driver went bombing down the slope and as both arms were useless I couldn’t even hold on so that was quite scary.
“My right wrist was shaped like an S so I knew something was seriously wrong there but I thought the doctors were joking when they told me my left was fractured too.
“Then when I got that phone call at home in the middle of the night about a week later I just knew something had happened to Stuart.
“We still went ahead with the trip we had booked with the kids just two weeks later but after seeing our injuries they were a bit apprehensive.
“They had a go at skiing though and Stuart was skiing too even with one broken arm.
“It’s crazy when you think about it. You couldn’t write this stuff. I’m not sure if we’re brave or just mad.”