Encouragement from a Survivor
"By Sybil - WCA Member"


This is to those of you who have struggled and survived with awesome discouragements and life challenges and to those of you who have loved ones who have as well.
I would like to share my own story with you. I hope this story will encourage you to not ever give up or quit fighting for survival, and even more, to pursue and experience your own field of dreams.
I dedicate this heart felt story and more to come to you dear people.

It was a cool brisk April morning in Idaho. The snow was melting on the hillsides around with green patches of spring grass dotting the countryside. I was up early bustling around as usual to get my morning exercise in and usual duties before leaving for work in the afternoon. I had planned a bike ride with some neighbor girls, but before I could leave, my first concern was my oldest daughter who had headed out early to work with my horse for me. She loved to train and work with horses. She had wanted to work with my horse in exchange for some money she owed. I had agreed somewhat reluctantly at first since I knew the nature of that horse to be rather unpredictable at times. I finally conceded to let her as she reminded me of her ability and successes with many other horses she had trained in the past. She was only 16yrs old but had definitely proven herself to be quite adept with horses. I opened the back door of our hundred year old farm house and viewed my lovely young daughter testing out a new tie down she had placed on Tori, a beautiful, fiery young mare.

My daughters' hair flowed in the April breeze and she and Tori were an impressive site together as they strolled down the driveway. I shuttered as I remembered the many encounters I had had with Tori and her explosive nature. I knew the power that horse had displayed so many times and I felt uneasy. I called to my daughter Sheila to let me see her and the horse; since I wanted to test Tori out to make sure she was ok, for safety, before I would leave on my morning bike ride. The two neighbor girls were going to be here any minute for our ride together. I assured my daughter I just wanted to be sure everything was safe for her before I left and that I appreciated her efforts with Tori.

I climbed onto the powerful young mare and I felt her twinge with uncertainty as usual. It seemed she could never really trust anyone no matter how much we assured her. I reminisced of the many pleasurable rides I had experienced on that broad and powerful back carrying my old comfortable western roping saddle and me. We had traveled over the beautiful Idaho hills together many times. I loved to feel the power of her stride as I viewed the majestic Golden Eagles soaring through the valleys from on top of the green hills. Tori had endurance and speed; she would glide over mile after mile with little effort. Her ride was smooth but I was always uneasy knowing at times she would show extreme panic driven explosiveness. I pushed her a little to make sure she wouldn't blow up with my daughter after I left. I made her walk around for quite a while with the new tie down Sheila had placed on her to set her head. I rode her in front of the house and up the side driveway several times and then I had my daughter shorten the tie a slight bit more to double check her tolerance of the devise.

A few minutes later it happened! All of a sudden I saw Tori glance sideways. A Wave of insanity seemed to pass across her eyes. I felt a chill travel up my spine. I knew she was going to blow up with me. I wasn't sure which way she would go, or how much she would explode, so I tried to remain calm and prepared myself by securing my position and hold while trying to calm Tori. I must have said a little prayer, as I wasn't sure what would happen and instantaneously the explosion happened. She violently threw herself backwards, no rearing, just a sudden flip. There wasn't time to think let alone bale out. I found myself falling through the air with the horse coming down on me. In that instance I realized if the saddle horn were to land on my chest it would probably be a fatal deal for me. I managed to twist in midair to the side before the saddle horn buried itself in the ground beside me and the cantle (back of the saddle) landed squarely on my pelvis with the weight of a 1200lb horse. I heard my pelvis Crunch under the load and severe pain shot through my lower body.

I now think of the often repeated Bible text that my grandmother told me many years ago, "The Angel of the Lord encampeth around about them that fear Him and will deliver them" Psalms 34:7, for it was as this Bible text said. At that very moment I heard a voice strongly in my head saying,
"It’s OK Sybil! The horse landed in just the right spot." Peace suddenly flooded me. I had perfect assurance that if I died it was OK and if I lived it was fine. I felt a strong comforting presence all around me. I was bleeding to death. I felt my strength slowly leaving. The pain was coming in waves from almost tolerable to excruciating. When the pain became unbearable I would say a little prayer and I seemed to be given the strength to stay conscious and get through it. My pelvis had been fractured in seven places. The pelvis is very vascular (lots of blood vessels) and that many fractures were taking their toll. My bladder had also been ruptured. I was lying on the ground under the now thrashing horse. I couldn't move my legs to get free. My daughter came to my rescue. She grabbed my arms and pulled me to safety. I lay in a pool of blood on the ground, fully conscious, peace continuing to keep me from going into shock. I calmly told my family not to move me, just call the ambulance.

Minutes seemed like hours, the ambulance finally arrived with a very shook crew. A crew I had been training with. They all new me personally & this is An EMT's worst nightmare. Be it nurse in the hospital, or EMT in the field, the worse thing is to have to save someone you know. By this time my neighbor girls had come to ride bikes with me. I calmly said. “Just go home you guys and pray for me, it will be OK”. I was loaded into the ambulance and we began the twelve-mile ride to the nearest very small hospital.
The EMT's stopped periodically to try and start my now much needed IV. My other daughter, Lorna, had climbed into the ambulance and was trying to encourage me to not go to sleep. She bravely kept talking to me and touching me to keep me conscious. I felt as though my life was just floating and little by little I was becoming less present. None of the EMT's could start my IV with their shaking hands and my disappearing veins. I was by now very hypovolemic. I had lost much blood and I would receive a total of seven units plus of blood when this was all over. I turned to Lorna (my second daughter) and said, "Please tell Sheila, if I don't make it to not give up on God because He still loves her very much." Sheila, my oldest daughter had been having some struggles and I was very concerned for her.

We finally arrived at the small hospital. A series of events lined up that basically saved my life. First of all, there was rarely any blood at this wayside country hospital, let alone the right blood type. The only unit in the hospital that day was my type. (That was a miracle itself) Second the super doctor I worked for was there with the chief of staff from the main hospital thirty miles away where I would have to have emergency surgery. The doctor I worked for was terrific with IVs and I was comforted when I saw him and he quickly started my IV and the chief of Staff for the Next hospital arranged ahead for all the surgery crew and right doctors to be ready when I arrived for immediate surgery.

 As I lay on the cold ER table and watched helplessly as people scurried here and there trying to save me I felt myself almost giving up the fight and then something happened in that small drab ER room that changed my nursing career forever. An older, tough ER nurse grabbed my cold hand and looked directly into my eyes and said, "Sybil, you are going to make it, hang on." She gave me hope and a boost of courage to keep fighting. I'll never forget that and I've used those very same words of encouragement myself to help many others. I did hang on, and I did make it by God's grace. They loaded me again into the ambulance with the blood infusing and the chief of staff surgeon climbed in with me and personally monitored me all the way to the next hospital. I don't remember what happened in the next ER.

I have only heard stories from my nurse friends about that. I do know that they took me as quickly as possible directly into surgery and they had three surgeons waiting and an excellent crew, thanks to the chief of staff. I awakened in ICU to one of my dear friend nurses voice. She seemed sad. I can remember hearing a beautiful song going through my mind as I lay there. I had heard it many times before in church. It was called My Tribute; A lovely song and quite fitting. I later learned from the nurse that she had gone out and wept heavily after seeing me.

My friend nurse had been a super ICU nurse & had seen people in better shape than me who had died. She said she went to her church friends after work and had a special prayer session for me. The next morning when she came in she told me later I looked entirely different and that I had "turned the corner" as far as my critical condition. I had color in my cheeks and the Vital signs were good. They were all still very much aware that even with this good progress I could still die any time instantly from a possible bone emboli in the blood.(this foreign object in the blood could have lodged in my heart or lungs) Soon I was transferred to a room on the floor.

 I remember the first time my surgeon walked in to my room, I began to thank him profusely and he quickly became very serious and stopped me. He stated, "don't thank me, you don't understand!  It was not me that saved you. We were doing all we could but you were bleeding in surgery so heavily; we could not stop the bleeding. We were pumping blood in as fast as we could but you were losing it even faster. There was nothing more we could do. We knew that even with your strong heart and health it could not last much longer like that and then suddenly, without our help, you just stopped bleeding." I learned later that three, possibly four, whole churches were praying for me at that time.


Yes, I do believe in prayer. The next surgeon, (Bone surgeon) entered my room later on and he began asking me questions.

“I don't understand how you could have never gone into shock after losing so much blood and having all that pain.” He also stated; “I don't know what you did, Sybil, you must have been doing something right because that horse landed in just the "right spot" for you.” If it had landed a little higher it would have damaged your spine and you may not have been able to walk again and if it had landed lower it may have ruined your joints. “THE RIGHT SPOT;” I had heard my angel tell me that back at my farm while I was lying on the ground.”  God is good!! I have a chip to this day, I can feel, out of my iliac crest to show where the saddle landed. It always reminds me that it landed in just the "right spot". I was in very good physical condition when that accident happened. I believe that, yes, it was a miracle, and without providence interfering I wouldn't be here today. I was spared for a reason and someday I may share that with you my dear survivor friends. 


I had been an active person with regular exercise and fitness and I am sure that certainly helped to save my life but without a miracle from my ever present God I would have never made it through that ordeal.


Six months after my accident I was able to run to the top of an uphill mile and a half dirt road behind my old farmhouse in Idaho which I had never been able to do before the accident. I rehabilitated myself by bike riding and walking and then running. God blessed my efforts and I was able to recover totally from my accident.   I was even able to return to lifting tons of fruit from our fruit orchard and selling them in our fruit stand. My children saw my miracle and it has made a huge impression on them and their lives. They met me when I came home from the hospital with a sign above my farm house door, entwined with licorice ropes, WELCOME HOME BUCKAROO!!!

This accident miracle has also been a tremendous encouragement to me to face even greater hurtles in my life and without this tough ride I don’t know if I could have been able to overcome my trials that came later in my life. I Thank God, my children, great emergency and medical personnel, church family & friends for their dedication, love and encouragement.  NEVER GIVE UP!

“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” Psalms 46:1

My love, respect and encouragement to you all,

Sybil, RN, Survivor...