IT has been a slow road to recovery for Nicole Ogilvie, critically injured in a horse riding accident at Bodalla seven weeks ago.
Her accident highlights the dangers of horse riding and the need to take care given recently released, shocking accident statistics.
An accomplished rider and mother of two, Nicole was riding with her sister Kodie in a Bodalla paddock on October 7 when her horse stumbled and fell, landing on Nicole causing her life-threatening injuries.
Nicole’s mother Penny Howes was alerted to the accident by the screams of her daughter Kodie and immediately called 000.
“It seemed like an eternity for the ambulance to get there,” Penny said.
“But in all it only took 42 minutes for the ambulance to arrive, stabilise Nicole and transport her to Moruya Hospital where she was transported by air ambulance helicopter to the Canberra Hospital.
”Nicole, 31, was admitted to the intensive care ward in a critical condition with brain injuries with scans showing a number of contusions.
Nicole was unconscious with a tracheal and feeding tube as her family remained by her side.
“It was two weeks before Nicole opened her eyes, it was her birthday, but she still wasn’t conscious,” Penny said.
“It took three and a half weeks before Nicole totally regained consciousness.
”Nicole remains in Canberra Hospital and has been moved to a general ward where with assistance she has started to take some steps.
She is also starting to regain some of her memory. Nicole’s husband Phil has been by her side every day and their children five-year-old Talicia and three-year-old Jaelan are also staying with dad and his parents in Canberra.
Phil has been using his long-service and annual leave to help get by, but times are getting financially tough for the family. Nicole requires extensive treatment and will be transferred to the Brain Injury Unit in Goulburn on December 10.
When she comes home from there she will need specialised care and extensive modifications to her home to accommodate her needs.
Fundraising for Nicole has started with collection tins around Bodalla for anyone wanting to make a cash donation.
“Nicole can’t come home until she is better and then she is still going to require alterations to her home to be able to accommodate her,” Penny said.
“I have a dream that she might be able to come home by Christmas!”
Two big auction fundraising events have been planned, the first of which is at Bodalla Bowling and Recreation Club this Saturday.
The day kicks off with mixed social bowls at 12.30pm, names in by 10.30am.
It will be a fun day on the greens followed at 7pm with live entertainment featuring Lost Dogs and a cast of many, as well as an auction and raffles throughout the day.
A courtesy bus is operating for the Bodalla and Tuross areas including Bodalla Park Estate and Potato Point from 5.30pm. Call 4473 5251 to book the bus and meals available from Xing’s Asian Cuisine.
The other fundraiser will be at Club Narooma where Nicole works on Friday night, December 14.In the meantime if anyone would like to make a donation to the Nicole Ogilvie Fund at the CBA 062-652 1014 0857 it would be greatly appreciated.
Alarm at horse-related injuries
The Ambulance Service last month released statistics revealing a high number of people have been injured recently while riding horses.
In just under two months, paramedics responded to calls for assistance from 130 people across NSW suffering a range of serious and even life threatening injuries.
Paramedics in southern NSW were called to help 41 patients between July 19 and September 14 with injuries ranging from cuts and bruises, numerous broken bones and serious spinal and head injuries.
“These incidents highlight the dangers horse riding poses to all riders of every level of experience, whether they’re riding recreationally or professionally,” he said.
“Falling from a horse presents an injury risk even before dangers like riding speed or further injury from the horse stepping or rolling onto a victim are taken into account.
“Given this recent spike in incidents, Ambulance is taking the opportunity to remind people riding presents dangers, especially when precautions aren’t taken.”
There are a number of basic safety tips people can follow while reading to minimise the risk of injury, including:
• Always wear appropriate riding gear like properly fitted helmet that meets safety standards, a long sleeved shirt, long fitted pants and riding boots.
• Ride a suitable horse for your riding skill level -the safest way to learn to ride is with an experienced coach on a quiet school horse.
• Always ride in complete control – as with cars and bikes, horses can reach high speeds. A fall from a horse is at least 2 metres high. A long fall at high speeds can leave you with serious injuries including spinal and head trauma.
• Ride with a buddy as an extra precaution in case something should go wrong and to keep an eye on each other.
• Always leave a map of your route with family and friends when riding on a trail and let them know the approximate time of when you will return. Ensure you both carry a mobile phone or two way radios to call for help and assistance.
• In groups, always ride at the speed of the least experienced rider. Look out for each other, keep an eye on less experienced riders to ensure they are not left behind or become separated from the group.
In the event of a medical emergency, dial Triple Zero (000) and ask for Ambulance.