Young horse-rider helped back from the brink after brain injury

Bryony Jones's skull was smashed when she was kicked in the head by a horse but it hasn't deterred her from riding.

The accident happened last July when a horse which had recently given birth uncharacteristically lashed out. The 24-year-old from St Albans was airlifted to hospital where she had major brain surgery. She was kept under sedation for nearly a month, had titanium plates fitted across her forehead and had to relearn how to walk, talk and eat. "They didn't know if I would be just lying there not able to do anything, or really disabled or in a wheelchair," she said. "But if you have the determination and motivation to do it, then once they tell you to do something, you do it. I was expected to be in hospital for six months but I was out in 12 weeks. I aimed high!" Bryony now plans to become involved in therapeutic gym work because of how it supported her during rehabilitation. She was supported by session at her local YMCA gym and had a personal trainer who helped her improve her balance, strength and coordination. The devastating accident hasn't put Bryony off horses and she still rides twice a week. However it does mean she can't be involved quite so closely. She explains: "I was so close to dying and the accident was that serious, that I have to be really careful around horses. If I whacked my head now, that would be me, dead. "There's still some brain injury but I can do everything I used to, as long as I am careful. I am really lucky. It has totally changed my perspective." Bryon is now waiting on a cranioplasty operation which will help reconstruct her skull. Read the full story.  
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