Lonely shepherdess, 26, looking for love who runs her own farm breaks her back in freak quad bike crash
Emma crushed her back after her quad bike flipped from under her on her parent's farmShe was left unable to move for a week with a back brace

Daily Mail Reporter


12:08 GMT, 13 August 2012



12:08 GMT, 13 August 2012

A lonely-heart shepherdess who launched a quest to find love has revealed she was almost left paralysed – after breaking her back in a freak quad bike crash.

Emma Gray, 26, who single-handedly runs a 150-acre farm, sparked a stampede for her affections after looking for a boyfriend to help manage her land.

But her quest suffered a set back when her quad bike flipped from under her, near her estate in the Scottish Highlands.

She landed on her back and crushed her vertebrae – leaving her in serious danger of being paralysed.

Emma Gray recovering in the Borders General Hospital


Emma Gray

Emma Gray, who lives a solitary life up on a hill-top farm, was lucky that her sister was nearby when she had the accident. She is pictured, left, at Borders General Hospital

However, she is now battling back to full health and is determined not to let the accident prevent her quest to find love.

She said: 'The crash was the worst experience of my life but I am determined to carry on.

'I was gathering sheep at my mum and dad’s farm and driving up the side of a quarry on some shingle when the whole bike began to slide.

'The bike rolled right on top of me. I was in hospital unable to move for a week which was very frustrating. I couldn’t do anything.

'I never want to go through anything like that again.'

Emma, from Hawick, in the Scottish Borders, was out working the land at her parent’s farm just a few miles from her own – when the quad bike went out of control.

Luckily her sister Caroline, 23, was close by and raised the alarm following the crash, over the Jubilee weekend in June.

Paramedics rushed her to hospital where she lay unable to move for a week with a back brace. She was then fitted with a chest cast and discharged a week later.

Emma Gray, pictured with some of her flock, is eager to get back into the dating game

Emma Gray, pictured with some of her flock, is eager to get back into the dating game

She said: 'I remember just before the crash thinking ‘this is going to hurt’ just before the bike hit me.

'My main concern was the dogs, which were on the back, but they jumped off and the bike only hit me.

'I was laid on my back totally unable to move for 20 minutes, I could get the air into my lungs.

'At first I thought I was just winded so after a while I got up and got back on the bike, which had rolled to the bottom of the hill and landed back on its wheels again.

'By the time I got back to the house I couldn’t move for the pain and my sister called an ambulance.

'They realised it was an unstable fracture and I could have done serious damage. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the x-rays.

'I’ve very independent so having to use a bed pan and not been able to do anything was hard for me.

'My back’s never going to be completely right. But I was so lucky I didn’t do it on my own farm where I would have been alone. I’m great now, just still frustrated at all the things I still can’t do.'

Emma had the cast off two weeks ago and is now on the road to recovery. She even managed to win a sheepdog trial on Saturday.

She said: 'I had the cast off two weeks ago. I’m getting back on my feet and winning my first sheep dog trials since the crash has been the icing on the cake.'

Emma grew up on her parents’ farm near Hawick, in the Borders, and has been a dab hand around the farm since she was a child.

She went on to study sheep management at college and at the age of 23, after a heartbreaking split from her fiance, successfully convinced the National Trust to give her the sole tenancy of a hill farm.

The property has no mains electricity or gas supplies and a windmill-powered hot water system.
But Emma, who has represented England in the International Sheepdog trials, has run the farm successfully ever since.

Earlier this year she penned an autobiography called ‘One Girl and Her Dog’ – sparking a rush for her affections.

Emma admits her isolation has left her out of the dating loop, which her only managing to travel to the nearby town of Morpeth a couple of times a month.

But she is convinced Mr Right is out there somewhere.

She said: 'I have been on a couple of dates in the last few months but since my accident I haven’t been able to go out so things have ground to a halt.

'In a few weeks I should be pretty much better and back at work so we’ll see what happens then.'