Quintin van Jaarsveld
Bianca-May Theunissen on Thursday gave an emotional testimony one year after suffering a near-fatal freak horse-riding accident in Paddock.
The Umtentweni teenager on 14 January 2015 tried out polocrosse for the first time on a friend’s horse, when it bucked and fell squarely onto the equestrian.
What’s more, the 660-kilogramme horse stepped on her head, causing severe brain trauma that kept the then-18-year-old in a coma for over a week.
Miraculously, she didn’t suffer any broken bones or permanent brain damage, and after three months of rehabilitation, Theunissen – who spoke to eHowzit in her first interview two months after the accident – got back on the horse.
She’s since started working at South Coast VW and told eHowzit on Thursday she has no lingering effects from the accident.
“I am completely healthy and perfect,” she told eHowzit.
She has a mature and grateful outlook on life, saying the near-death experience changed her life for the better, and thanks God for making a full recovery.
Reflecting on the accident and the last 12 months, Theunissen said, “Today a few years back was my first riding lesson…today last year, I had an accident that changed my life for the better.
“I got onto a horse to try polocrosse. So, I know I can ride, so why not? Nothing seemed to go so smoothly, but I did wear a helmet, which possibly saved my life!
“I got onto an unknown horse to me…it decided I shouldn’t. It threw me off, fell on top of me and rolled over me and kicked me in the head! So I ended up in a not-so-very-good way…
“I sustained major swelling on the brain and ended up in a coma for a few days. How I managed to come right and not burst my spleen when the horse rolled over me – and much more – I think was a bit of a medical miracle, and my testimony is pretty huge if you ask me, as I know the only reason I ended up being okay was because God had me in the palm of his hand and he knew this earth still needs me!
“I am super grateful God found a way to get all the negative people out my life and show me what true friends were. I have since come a long way to where I am today and am so grateful for all the incredible true people I have met along the way! Thank you to those people for being who you are to me! I have the most amazing church [New Life] with the best people in it and I have seen who my true friends are!
“The April after my accident, my birthday was coming up…I knew I wasn’t going to study. My mom asked me what I wanted, so the courage grew and I said I wanted to rescue a horse! So, along my crazy journey last year, I rescued the most amazing boy Copper [pictured below] and my year was pretty much dedicated to him.
“He could do nothing and I’ve brought him a long way! And I am so grateful to be at the yard [Haven Manor Equestrian Centre] I am at now. With all the love, support and help we’re getting, I’m sure we’ll get far.
“But I just want to say thank you to all my family, my animals, doctors and friends that have been with me on this journey and have helped me through all the really tough times.
“I will never stop riding as it has moulded me into the person I am and shown me all I need to know about people in tough times.”