Jessie Humber, who broke her neck playing rugby, has revealed a referee saved her life by stopping her head hitting the ground.
The 26-year-old, from Padstow in Cornwall, suffered the injury playing for Plymouth Albion Ladies in November.
Humber, who is also an RNLI lifeguard, was tackled and landed on her head against Cullompton.
She said scans at the hospital showed that the referee Dean Davies’ quick reactions had saved her life.
— Sunday Independent 🗞️ (@thesundayindy) December 1, 2018
Following the impact, Miss Humber was sitting down and lost feeling in her hands and feet when Mr Davies intervened.
She said: “As I was falling down the ref grabbed my head.
“The scans showed that one of four fractures in my C1 vertebrae was right next to my main artery.
“If the back of my head had hit the ground it would have gone straight through it and I’d be dead.”