It could happen to anyone.
That split one second moment in time when your life changes forever.
For Deserie Rieu that one split second in time came when she was at the place where she most loved to be, working with animals she most loved to work with.
The 35-year-old horse trainer was working in the training barn she rents when out of nowhere a horse’s hoof came crashing into her face sending her crashing to the floor and causing multiple fractures, loss of several teeth and a temporary brain bleed.
When a friend, who was also at the barn with her two little girls, heard the horses squeal and went to investigate as to what was going on she was met with a shocking sight.
Rieu was lying on the floor of the barn and blood and teeth were everywhere.
Her mother, Judy Rieu, who has been constantly at her daughter’s side through this long and difficult time, looks back at the freak accident and noted it could happen to anyone at any time.
“She was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Rieu.
Since the accident, the emotional rollercoaster of stress and worry and simply not knowing what will happen next has been extremely trying for Rieu.
Once the ambulances arrived at the horse farm which is south of Bentley on the Aspelund Road the young lady was sedated and immediately taken to the hospital where it was discovered that she had a brain bleed in addition to the fractures in her cheekbone, palate and jaw.
Because of a swollen airway, Rieu was intubated until the swelling subsided. She later underwent six hours of surgery at the University of Alberta hospital in Edmonton.
“There was more damage than originally anticipated,’ said her mom.
Deserie also has bruising on her side and will likely need dental surgery.
While the emotional turmoil has been extremely difficult, the outpouring of support, encouragement and prayers has been amazing, said Rieu.
“I’m so very grateful. The support has been amazing. It is true that the horse community is very special and they do take care of their own.”
Family friend Susan Lehmann started a GoFundMe campaign and there’s also a benefit auction online.
While Deserie is in the process of healing, which will take several months, she will stay with her mom.
“She’s still having a hard time swallowing,” Rieu said.
It is certain that the road to recovery will be long and arduous and Rieu is grateful for the outpouring of both the emotional, financial support and the prayers that went out for her daughter.
The support of the community will, no doubt, help the family get through the next few months.
“It’s going to be awhile,” Rieu said, (but) we’ll figure it out.”