A Daughter’s Quick Thinking

It was a balmy summer morning - perfect, I remember thinking, for a horseback ride with my daughter Shannon. As I put my saddle in the back of the pickup I called for her to tell her I was ready to go. That was the last thing I remembered doing until I woke up days later in a hospital bed with a Doctor asking me if I knew my name. My daughter and my parents have since told me the details of that day. We were just starting out on our ride when a pheasant flushed from a nearby brush patch and startled my horse. From Shannon's description, my horse “went berserk” and after several seconds of real rodeo action I ended up on the ground. She wasn’t sure if he struck my head with his hooves as he jumped over me or if I landed on a rock.

Jumping off her horse and frantically checking my injuries Shannon knew she had to get immediate help, but at the same time hated leaving me. Her horse had since left with mine so she ran the quarter mile to my parent's house as fast as she could on “jello legs” to tell them what had happened. My father told me he had feared the worst when they rushed over to where I was, as at first I was not moving. When he knelt over me I struggled to get up but was incoherent and staggering. The three of them gently helped me into the vehicle and tried to keep me as still as possible.

Dad said he drove the usual 20-minute trip into town in about half that time, flashers on all the way! The medical staff at the clinic could see my condition was serious and did not waste time putting me on an ambulance to the nearest hospital 75 miles away. I had suffered a severe concussion and spent ten days in the hospital. I was also diagnosed with nerve damage in my left ear and have hearing loss as a result, but am very thankful that is all that happened to me. If it had not been for my daughter ‘s quick thinking and my parents quick reactions, the outcome might have been extremely different.

As told by:
Sheila A Hendrickson
New Town, ND

©2008 Eaglesden


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