Patient Story -

Mumís head injury after horse head-butt

When mother-of-two Kerry Wilson was head-butted by a horse, her last thought before losing consciousness was to protect her 11-year-old autistic son from seeing her lying injured on the ground. 

After dropping Lachlan at Karara State School, Kerry went to change the halter on her horse ‘Bundy’ in a paddock behind the school. “He unexpectedly decided to throw his head and I was in the wrong place, wrong time,” Kerry said.

“When I was struck, I yelled at the people around me to make sure Lachy didn’t see me. I didn’t want him to see his Mum injured like that. Seconds later, I blacked out.” A teacher’s aide took Lachlan into a classroom to distract him while his mother lay unconscious with a life-threatening head injury.

Kerry said the family had endured numerous broken bones over the years from the family’s nine horses, but knew this incident was far more serious. “When I came to, someone said CareFlight was on the way. I was still pretty out of it and had no idea what had happened. I couldn’t move my legs and kept asking ‘what’s happened?'” she said.

The CareFlight helicopter landed in a clearing at the school minutes later – watched by the rest of the school students, all 11 of them. “I remember when CareFlight landed, they were really good. Halfway through the flight I got this really bad headache then I don’t remember anything else, I blacked out again.”

Kerry’s family made the daunting three hour drive to Brisbane, not knowing the extent of her injuries. Thankfully, scans cleared Mum’s head injury Kerry of any major spinal injury and the feeling in her legs slowly began to return.

“That was a huge relief. I had some swelling on the brain but was released from hospital the next day,” she said.

Months on, Kerry still has some swelling on the brain but says everyone in the Darling Downs town of Karara, with a population of 140, is thankful for the CareFlight service. Several others in the small town, including Kerry’s own father, have been airlifted by CareFlight.

“CareFlight is the best thing. We definitely need it out here.”

“Even to get into Warwick or Toowoomba Hospital would have been 50 minutes in the ambulance and I don’t know what would have happened to me with my head injury in that time. Warwick and Toowoomba are great hospitals but I needed to get to Brisbane and CareFlight was the only way.”

Despite her ordeal, Kerry says there are no hard feelings between her and Bundy. “It’s all part of having horses… you can get hurt. But getting head-butted by a horse is definitely unique!”