Gymnast, 12, Died From Neck Injury After She Fell From School Pommel Horse

14/08/2014 16:56 | Updated 22 May 2015

pommel horse

A 12-year-old girl gymnast died after catching her foot on a pommel horse and falling during a PE lesson.

Trevyn Hope Joslin injured herself during the session at Taverham High School in Norfolk last March.

Teachers and pupils in the school gym rushed to help her but she died in hospital a week later from a hyper-extension injury to the neck.

An inquest at Norfolk Coroner's Court heard Trevyn had a pre-existing neck condition which could have limited her ability to take part in some sports, including gymnastics.

The school knew about the condition but because of an administrative oversight had failed to inform all staff.

However, pathologist Nat Cary found the injuries suffered in the fall could have killed somebody with an 'anatomically normal' neck.

Assistant head and PA teacher Shirley Naisby described how she had organised the 'basic flight' gym session. She said Trevyn, from Thorpe Marriott, near Norwich, was 'confident, enthusiastic and one of the better gymnasts in the class'.

She added: "In the last 10 or 15 minutes, the students could select which piece of equipment they wanted to go on and Trevyn selected the horse.

"She had a few successful jumps then went to make another. She ran up perfectly well but as she jumped her right foot caught the front-end of the horse and she tumbled forward and landed face down on the mat almost in the recovery position.

"Some of her friends were close to her and gathered around where she had fallen. One of them said 'Miss she's winded'. "She was trying to mouth words but it was very difficult to hear what she was saying."

An ambulance was called and Lynne Hammond, the school's pastoral care supervisor, administered CPR.

She added: "I was struggling to accept the reality of the situation - you just want to believe a child is still breathing."

Norfolk police and the Health and Safety Executive found no evidence of any failings.

A jury concluded she died as a result of accidental death.

Assistant coroner David Osborne said: "A young life when lost is extremely difficult and I would offer my condolences to the family."

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