Sunday, July 31, 2011

Courtney King Dye speaks about her injury (Riders4Helmets)

Many of you know about the Riders4Helmets initiative -- it's a a link on the left hand side of my blog, maybe you've seen it. I met one of the founders of Riders4helmets at Rolex, Lindsey White. She works with bloggers and others to promote her organization, and recently to promote the Helmet Safety Symposium that took place in July. One of the more significant moments of that conference was the airing of video that Courtney King Dye contributed: Expect the Unexpected.  It was posted on Youtube and you may have seen it promo'ed.

 I had been meaning to watch this video, and finally made the time during a lull at the reference desk/help desk this Saturday.

You need to watch Courtney's video. Now. Here.

All things considered, she looks great. She sounds good, all things considered. Her speech is slow and labored at times, and even this four minute video seems to tire her. She says, poignantly, that she strugggles to talk and cannot do "much  of anything" without help. But as she says, she is LUCKY.

If this video doesn't make you start wearing a helmet, nothing will.


  1. A powerful message, indeed. I've posted a link on a bicycle forum as well. Apparently there is a debate going on about helmets for bike riders. (One doctor says no because cars don't slow down when they see a cyclist wearing a helmet!)

    I'll be interested to see what, if any, reaction my post gets.

  2. I sure hope more professional riders at all levels see this and get the message. My heart goes out to Courtney and her family, and I hope her experience encourages others to wear protective helmets with chin straps.

  3. Yes. Every rider should watch this video. No skill level or level of training of the horse trumps safety.

  4. I was in a serious horse-related accident at the end of May. I was wearing a helmet when my horse spooked, bolted, jumped two fences (one of them three feet tall), and tore off galloping. I stayed on until the "tore off galloping" part. That's when I fell off and landed on my head.

    As they strapped me to the back board, the paramedics told my husband that I should have died. They said I didn't because I was wearing a helmet. I also should have broken my neck, my arm, and a rib or two. I didn't. That bit of luck can be chalked up to falling into a relatively sandy spot. The rest of my good fortune can be placed squarely on my cheap Troxel helmet.

    Even so, it has been a slow recovery for me. I had a concussion, and simple tasks like speaking, working through day-to-day problems, and coordination were tough for the first four to six weeks. I only stopped feeling dizzy every day, all day long at the six week mark, and the remaining dizziness faded about a week and a half ago. (Finally!)

    In the long term, the way I access memories has changed. I have amnesia for the week before and the week after the accident. Anyone I met in May or June, it's a crap shoot if I'll remember meeting them or their name. In other words, my brain is altered. I cannot imagine how bad the injury to my brain would have been if I had been bare-headed.

    My new helmet is a high-end GPA. Some friends pooled their money and bought it for me. Helmets matter. I always knew that, but now I believe it, unequivocally.

  5. Am I the only one who couldn't make it through that video without crying? I went and watched her and Mythilus doing a freestyle afterwards and that made it worse - losing such a charmed life that any horse person would give their eyeteeth for in a heartbeat due to one moment's wrong decision!

    My mom rides at a barn with a young lady who had a similar accident - horse stumbled, pitched her onto her head - and a similar injury. She was in a forced coma for weeks while they thought she would die and then spent several years learning how to walk and talk. She's much younger than Courtney and probably partly for that reason (young brains can recover from almost anything) is doing better. But she still needs a helper to get around college.

    This young lady was riding her horse back to the barn at a walk after a ride. It can happen to anyone at any time.


Hi Guys, Your comments are valued and appreciated -- until recently I never rejected a post. Please note that I reserve the right to reject an anonymous post.