“I know not many people are familiar with Argentina but I must say, Argentina is what saved my life! The support I got from my loving friends, the team of doctors, paramedics and the pilot of the helicopter that life flighted me from one hospital to another in Argentina; they saved my life with all their love, prayers and support. They did it all free of charge. The medical industry in Argentina has made it free to save your life.”
I was 26 years old when I travelled to Argentina (for the third time) because, this time, I got my dream job. I was a professional showjumping rider. But I had another goal, to make contacts with the polo community in that Country. My dream was to start a therapeutic riding program for people with disabilities, including brain injuries. I had just completed an article about it as well….before what happened.
On December 14, 2014 I was a passenger in a vehicle. I was told the driver swerved to miss a person running across the road. That is when the head on collision took place, with another car that was doing a U turn on the highway. One other person died and I had a lot of injuries. I had damage to my left lung and a pretty extensive brain injury. I was picked up and taken to the local hospital. I was placed into a medically induced coma for 10 days. In one picture, you can see my body was swelling so badly that doctors used frozen Coke bottles to cool me down. They are a third world Country so they don’t have the same medical supplies available to them that we do here. My dad is an emergency room Doctor and began to make plans to have me flown home. He didn’t want me to stay in Argentina because he was worried whether I would live or not if I stayed there. They sent my dad the MRI and it made him vomit when he saw it. But thank God my mommy came down to Argentina to take care of me, her baby! A medical plane was sent to pick me up and transport me back to the United States. When I arrived back in the United States in Nashville, TN – I was taken to Vanderbilt University Hospital.
I had to literally relearn how to do everything. I had to relearn how to feed myself, brush my teeth, and walk again. My fine motor skills, my balance and vision have been impacted the most. I even had to learn to shave again. My mom shaved my legs for me, for several months. I literally had to relearn everything. I was blessed. I had a lot of support thr
ough family, friends, and prayers.
My last memory is of me being at an amazing party at a polo farm in Argentina. My next memory is waking up in Nashville, Tennessee seeing friends and family.
This was about 6 weeks after I apparently had arrived home.
During this whole time, since I have been recovering, I have never lost my love for my horses. It’s ironic how they are the ones now helping me on my healing journey. This whole experience has definitely given me a new perspective about life. I am now a person with a disability. I am a person that still loves horses and I am using horses to heal.
My last memory is of me being in Argentina. My next memory is waking up in Nashville, Tennessee. This was about 6 weeks after I apparently had arrive home.
Everyone thinks that traumatic accidents are so horrible and depressing but life is literally what you make it. Mind over matter.
My accident that caused a traumatic brain injury is a blessing for me. I have learned to live life slow and easy and spend quality time with friends and family. “Your time is the most valuable thing you can give someone.”
I have been teaching people with disabilities to ride horses for 10 years. Now the Lord has allowed me to step in their shoes to see what it is really like to be physically and mentally disabled and the ability to ride a horse. I have learned that horses really do help our lives.
Winston Churchill has a famous quote “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”
If you ever get the chance, check out my Website – REPLAY POLO
If you donate money through my webstie it will be helping people with disabilities, injured military veterans and retired polo ponies.
I have worked in both the hunter/jumper and polo worlds. Ten years ago I earned my certification as a PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) Instructor. I also became a certified PATH Mentor.