Woman Had To Relearn To Walk And Talk After Being Knocked Over By Horse

August 14, 2017 | by | 0 Comments
Jennifer Thornton from Plymouth, Devon, who had to learn to walk and talk again after being knocked over by a horse.

Jennifer Thornton from Plymouth, Devon, who had to learn to walk and talk again after being knocked over by a horse.

These are the shocking injuries suffered by a woman who had to relearn to walk and talk after she was knocked over by a horse.

Jennifer Thornton, 43, wasn’t wearing a helmet when she was knocked to the ground by a rowdy horse in the stables while looking after her own pony Blue.

Doctors who were forced to put Jennifer into an induced coma and warned partner Paul Avis she was unlikely to survive.

But brave Jennifer miraculously pulled through – but only after doctors REMOVED a chunk of her brain leaving her with an ten-inch scar.

The brain injury robbed her of her speech and movement, and it took her a year to learn to stand on her own – and a month to say her name.

Bizarrely the extreme knock to the head also changed her personality too and the former heavy-metal fan now feels PAIN when she hears loud sounds.

Almost two years on from the accident she is campaigning to get horse owners to wear helmets – even when they aren’t riding their ponies.

Injury collect of Jennifer Thornton from Plymouth, Devon, who had to learn to walk and talk again after being knocked over by a horse.

Injury collect of Jennifer Thornton from Plymouth, Devon, who had to learn to walk and talk again after being knocked over by a horse.

She said: “I have always felt safe around horses and never in a million years imagined that I would end up with such catastrophic and life changing injuries doing something I love so much.

“I had to learn to talk, swallow, eat and walk again and build my strength.

“But I deem myself extremely lucky to be alive and to not have lost long term memories.

“I had to learn how to walk and talk again – even basic things like eating and going to the toilet seemed impossible.

“I was not wearing a hard hat, but if I had been wearing one the outcome would have been very different.”

Jennifer, from Plymouth, Devon, had rescued Blue a month prior to the accident in October 2015.

She was helping dentists in the Plymouth yard by putting an unruly horse into the barn when the animal knocked to the floor and she hit her head on a curb.

Although the other people in the yard did not see the incident, they were alerted by the sound of her head cracking off the concrete floor.

She was put on a back board by paramedics who rushed to the scene and worried medics at Derriford Hospital put her in an induced coma.

SWNS_HORSE_RECOVERY_02Jennifer’s family and partner, dog-walker Paul Avis, rushed to the hospital and were warned she would be severely disabled if she even survived.

She had a massive bleed on her brain.

“The section of bruised and bleeding brain was removed and my head was sewn back together, minus the skull flap,”

She had a dent in her head for six months and was left with a huge scar from her forehead to her ear in a horse shoe shape.

She spent two months in hospital and initially couldn’t even lift her arms or say her name.

It took her a month to learn to walk with people holding her for assistance and a year to get up and stand on her own.

Jennifer admits she turned into “Jekyl and Hyde” – happy to be alive but frustrated that she had been stripped of her independence.

“Paul was brilliant but I would fling into a fit of rage when he did something a different way to how I would have,” she said.

“I became a complete cow.

“I would burst into fits of rage. I wasn’t aware of how angry I had become. It felt like everything was against me.

“Neither of us knew whether the side effects were permanent.”

Jennifer Thornton with partner Paul Avis

Jennifer Thornton with partner Paul Avis

The Conservation Biology graduate now suffers from hyperacusis, which means sounds cause Jennifer excruciating pain as well as giving her anxiety.

She can no longer cope with every day sounds like buses, lorries or even her dog barking.

Whilst she was still in hospital, the equine lover decided to set up a Facebook page called Hard Hats & Horses.

Jennifer had been around horses for more than 30 years at the time of her accident and warns other equestrians not to become complacent.

“When I am fully recovered I will be wearing my hard hat whenever I am dealing with any equines,” she said.

“I have always felt safe around them and never in a million years imagined that I would end up with such catastrophic and life changing injuries doing something I love so much.

“Please be safe and look after your heads, you only have one brain and when it’s broken it’s broken.”

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