Top breeder determined to recover after showjumping accident leaves her paralysedNovember 1, 2012 - 8:00am
Galway’s most renowned sports horse breeder has been left paralysed after sustaining a broken neck and severe spinal injuries following a horrific accident at a horse show.
Deirdre Bourns, who runs Bourns Sport Horses on Lisbeg Farms in Eyrecourt outside Ballinasloe, was working in the warm up area of the Cavan Equestrian Centre during the indoor championships on September 19 with her horse and rider when a young horse bolted across the ring.
Deirdre was in a line of people when she and another woman were knocked down by the out-of-control horse which had a rider on top.
Her husband, Richard Bourns, said the seriousness of her injuries became apparent immediately. The first aid officer lay on the ground beside her holding her head still until the ambulance arrived.
She was transferred to the Mater Hospital spinal injury unit in Dublin where she underwent an operation on her neck to have steel plates inserted.
For the last three weeks she has been undergoing extensive therapy at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire.
“She sustained a broken neck and quite severe spinal injuries. She is paralysed from the rib cage down. She’s making progress. The outcome of her injuries won’t be known for another two months,” Richard explained.
“She can move her arms, her hands are quite weak but so far there’s no movement from her ribcage down. But we’re very hopeful. Deirdre worked 14 hours a day, seven days a week. The physios are getting socks. I’ve had to hire in a physio for the bank holiday – that’s how determined she is.”
Deirdre moved to Galway from her native Armagh in the 70s to work as a geologist in the Tynagh Mines. The couple met through Galway equestrian circles as they were both show jumpers.
See full story in this week's Connacht Tribune.