Pip Peacock, 63, spent eight days in an induced coma and a further two weeks in hospital following the traumatic attack, reports Derbyshire Live. It happened when she was out walking her 13-year-old dog Buster at Magpie Mine in the Peak District.
After one cow approached Pip, the retired teacher fell to the ground and quickly the herd kicked her several times.
Pip was flown by air ambulance to hospital, where medics had to use 17 titanium plates to repair her ribcage. However, Pip’s husband Philip was warned that the second major trauma to her body in two days might mean that she would not survive.
In addition to her rib injuries, Pip had also broken her collarbone, damaged her shoulder ligaments, broke a finger, and sustained serious wounds to her left leg and right knee.
“The first thing I recall about the attack is one cow coming for me. Then I was lying on the ground and was kicked and rolled over several times,” Pip said today.
“I tried to shout for help but had no voice. I put my hands over my head and recited Psalm 23; ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures.’ I felt very peaceful as my faith means I am not afraid of death.”
The former teacher screamed for help without success until two men and a woman came along and were able to chase the cattle away.
Pip added: “This was no easy task. I could hear them shouting and was worried the cows would attack them.
“They used their sticks and camera tripods to move the cows away. The woman stayed and talked to me.”
She would remain in hospital for more than three weeks after the attack in September 2019.
But Buster, the beloved black labrador, sadly died in the ordeal.
“He was very placid and loved by everyone – even some people who didn’t usually like dogs. He came to us at 18 months from the Dog’s Trust and we couldn’t have asked for a better dog,” Pip said.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) say cattle can become aggressive if they felt threatened, particularly when they have calves with them and if a dog gets between them and a calf.
Their suggestions include avoiding “getting between cows and their calves”, move quickly and quietly, and keep gates closed behind you when walking through fields.
Pip, of Bakewell, Derbyshire, wants to raise awareness of the potential dangers of walking near cows, especially with dogs, though she doesn’t hold any ill-feeling about the incident.
She continued: “I think it was just an unfortunate event. I have had incredible support since the accident and can see that good things have come out of it. I am making good progress but still struggle with pain from time to time.”
Pip is very thankful to Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance for the role it played in helping to save her life following the attack.
The air ambulance crew flew her to hospital in just 10 minutes, when a road journey from the remote location would have taken about 45 minutes.
“My injuries were so serious I probably would not have survived if I had gone in a land ambulance to hospital.
“The policeman who went to tell my husband what had happened said I might not live even though I had been taken by helicopter,” she said.
Despite often being in pain, Pip has been trying to rebuild her life – initially by spending time with friends and family and since lockdown restrictions were introduced, by walking.
She has now set herself the challenge of walking 1,000 miles this year to raise funds for the local air ambulance, without whom, she believes, she would not be here today.
Pip added: “As walking was allowed I just did more and more. I needed a challenge and signed up to walk 1,000 miles in a year.
“Then I thought it would be a great idea to use it to raise money for the local air ambulance charity so that something good comes out of what happened to me.”
She has made a great start to her walking challenge by completing almost 200 miles by the end of February.
Pip has set up a JustGiving page, and anybody who wants to sponsor her can do so here.