Never in a million years did I think this helmet would later save my life as, I pondered in the helmet aisle at Dover about how many crystals I should pick, what color and what font style my monogram should be on the chin strap. I was thinking more in terms of buying a good helmet to take me through the years of my riding discipline, dressage. I’ve been riding my entire life and none of the other 5 different disciplines required a helmet so, for me I was quite honestly going through the motions, purchasing something required for what I was competing in and, in my mind why not make it cute, right?
August 1st, 2017 on a beautiful summer day, minutes into riding my horse I was violently thrown off with NO warning at!! In fact, she was so quiet that day I almost didn’t wear one with the 95 degree heat. With no warning she began bucking so hard it took my breath away, I fought hard to stay on and then she stopped and reared backed hitting me in my face, losing both reins and one stirrup. Dazed, I began to panic grabbing in vane at any part of the saddle I could get my hands on. she then launched into another huge series of bucking, driving my left boot deeper and deeper into the stirrup iron with each violent buck, I was in big trouble and I knew it, my foot was caught. She then coiled back and violently bucked HARD again as, she whipped me off and down under her, I remember thinking during tiny fractures of those split seconds that this was going to be how I die as, I would be dragged to death. Oddly in this last violent moment, I remember calmness washing over me and my stirrup irons moved just enough to let my boot slide out. Seconds later, I laid silently on the hard ground in shock, gasping for breath, sandy grit covering me, writhing in the worst pain my 53 year old body has ever endured. I lost vision in my right eye immediately and, knew I most likely had a bad concussion as my head pounded so hard I could feel the pulse of my heart in it.
Painful hours followed, being moved from the first hospital to a bigger hospital because my head injury was far more than they were equipped for. I had concussed my head in the front and back and had a possible brain bleed. I broke ribs, tore cartilage between them, broke my seat bone, cracked my back molar and bone bruised every bone on my right side but, my brain injury was the ultimate concern. The Trauma Doctors all said, without a doubt, WITHOUT my helmet, I’d be DEAD, lights OUT gone!! Yes, I have a healing brain injury and yes that is a serious thing and yes other bone injuries too BUT, it WILL all heal, I AM ALIVE!!! TRULY, I have my HELMET to THANK, that helmet is my HERO in this story, my little black helmet with the shiny crystals – that I thought I’d never need, SAVED MY LIFE!!!
I’m a private person when it comes to things like this as, I will NEVER be a victim but, my HOPE is that some good will come from my accident and so, I wanted to share my story to help maybe just one person. Maybe one of YOU will READ this and get a helmet, WEAR a helmet and make it YOUR practice, it could save YOUR LIFE…it SAVED MINE!!
Lisa Jones Greenwood