Well known and loved British shredder lass Laura Berry has been plagued by a series of collarbone issues over the past few years which have in turn lead to some serious vascular issues.
Laura has competed on the British scene with an awesome level of success, has made her mark in Europe with several impressive comp results and was also a regular face in all of the Lockdown Projects films. But all of this has happened over a background of persistent injuries which have had little light shed on them due to her seemingly constant success.
The initial collarbone break was back in the day before Laura boarded, but in 2004, several years later, one hell of a slam on a magazine shoot ended with a double fracture. After the obligatory recovery and rehab she was given the all clear and got back down to business. Subsequently Lozza smashed up her shoulder a further 7 times before, in 2008, a bump on the bum resulted in yet another break!
“Exsqueeze me ?!” I hear you cry, and that is exactly what Lozza thought, enough was enough.
After a further thorough examination it was uncovered that after the original massive smash back in 2004, only 1 of the 2 breaks had healed and Laura had been riding, competing and generally throwing down with a broken shoulder for 4 years. If you take into account that in that time Laura had won The Burton Am Tour Series, The Slopestyle Europa Cup series, The Burton Black Metal, placed 5th and 11th in the Roxy Chicken Jam and won many Brits contests then its not too shabby!
This time round Laura had the full works including a bone graft and metal plate and took on the world once again, winning the Big Air and coming second in the Slopestyle at the Brits ’09 and winning the Red Bull Home Run for the second year running. However, when the plate came out last year things went South faster than David Dickinson to a Brighton antique fake tan convention.
An aneurysm had formed around where one of the plate’s screws had been. As this was coming to light, Laura’s principle sponsor, Red Bull, decided that due to her frequent injury time out and as her contract was expiring she would be dropped from the team. To say that this went down like a sh*t sandwich would possibly be an understatement. But Lozza was not to be beat.
After a change of hospitals Laura endured a series of attempts to have the aneurysm treated, including a procedure that she described as “‘the single most painful thing I have ever had in my life. The pain was so bad I passed out,” and ended in Miss Berry coming to as she was being rushed to emergency surgery. The previous procedure had cut off the blood supply to her hand and there was a risk it would be lost. The op was, luckily, a success and her hand was saved but the aneurysm remained.
Laura has been soldiering on and has spent the season so far in Morzine but her doctors have recently said that they cannot do anything about either issue, her collarbone or the aneurysm, for fear of complications leading to her losing her arm.
“‘For 12 weeks my hand has been cold to the point of my fingers being white and i can’t warm them up. Apparently this is because of where I had the emergency operation, I now have a clot in my elbow. My shoulder aches and doesn’t move 100% properly. I still have an aneurysm which is the same size as before and my collarbone is still in two bits. The blockage in my elbow is restricting the blood flow to my hand by about 50%, which is in turn, creating the coldness.”
Laura’s docs have said that nothing can be done until the aneurysm hardens which will be about a further 12 weeks,”which I guess means that I can still do my season and shred…I don’t think anyone has ever been told that they are ok to still shred because they’re too battered to actually be fixed! I’m just stoked I can still be out riding and doing what I love.”
We wish Laura the best of luck with all further ops and hope that everything finally gets sorted, injuries are the major fear that unites all action sports folks but we’re glad it’s not stopping you from throwing down. We present you with massive props for strapping on a pair and taking your man up pills and putting many people with much less serious injuries to shame! Big thanks go out to Sean Miller who wrote the original press release and let us know about this whole shenanigans! And I believe it was Finley Quaye who sang the immortal lines:
“Ride on, and turn the people on!”