Abbie’s dream to ride again after horror horse accident
STILL horse crazy, 10-year-old Abbie Sweeper dreams of the day she will ride her pony Missy again.
It has been six months since the Plainland girl suffered horrific injuries after falling from a horse at a Laidley Pony Club gymkhana last year.
Since her accident on Sunday, July 14, Abbie has been recovering in the Intensive Care Unit at the Queensland Children's Hospital.
Her mother, Amanda Visser, said the family had finally been able to start taking Abbie out of the hospital for adventures just before Christmas.
"We went and saw Fantastic Mr Fox," Amanda said.
"We're just trying to get things back to normal, like what we would normally do over school holidays."
Abbie, whose recovery started with mouthing words, then whispering, is now able to speak as she could before the accident.
"She speaks normally and clearly now - she's developed back her ability to speak," Amanda said.
"She gives the nurses plenty of sass as any 10-year-old would do."
Abbie found her voice after the cuff was removed from her tracheostomy tube.
"They moved her to an uncuffed trachy, which allows more air to come through," Amanda said.
"Once that cuff came off - which is like a little balloon in her throat - she could then actually voice what she was trying to tell us."
Unable to walk or move from the neck down, Abbie's condition is still far from what it was before the accident, but Amanda said there were day-to-day signs which made it impossible to deny her daughter's progress.
"When I took down the sign from her wall - the one that says blink for yes and stare for no - and put it in the bin, you realise just how far you've come," she said.
Six months in hospital is a long time, especially for a young girl whose idea of fun involved being outside and riding horses.
"She's a typical 10-year-old kid who gets bored lying around hospital and she just wants to have fun," Amanda said.
"She just wants to go home and see her pony."
Suffering the kind of injuries that can prevent a person from ever walking again has not been enough to crush Abbie's horseriding dreams.
"She still loves horses absolutely, she talks about them all the time and says she wants to go home and ride Missy," Amanda said.
"It might seem impossible but we never know where technology will take us in the future …
"At the moment we're just focusing on get home."
A GoFundMe page set up by a friend of the family aims to raise money to help the family with ongoing costs involved in Abbie's recovery.
To donate, click here.