• Survivor or Caregiver

TBI One Love Survivor Steve Limrite

Hello, my name is Steve.

January 16th, 2007, I had finished working my second job shoeing horses all day. (My main job for the past 27 years has been as a public safety dispatcher).  The family and I headed to the barn to take care of our horses for the evening.  It was cold and windy by California standards and I was ready to ride, feed and be back inside for a hot shower!  We had recently purchased a new horse for my youngest daughter, Kaitlin.  The mare had been giving Kaitlin some problems, so I offered to work with her a bit.  I started working the horse in the round pen.

This can help the horse to basically blow off some energy and steam and helps them to focus. After about 10 minutes, I stopped and assessed the horse.  She seemed ok, but I remember thinking to myself, she could use another 5 minutes or so... but I disregarded that thought and took her out to the large arena to ride. All went well for the first few minutes and then all hell broke loose, literally. What happened next, I have not recollection of but it was related to me by my wife Laurie, and daughter Kaitlin. 

The horse took several leaps forward, bucked and reared over backwards with me and I landed headfirst, on the back of my head. I was unresponsive and in respiratory arrest. (Probably from the impact). I gasped for air, and came around.  I was combative and aggressive and refused to allow anyone to call EMS. I insisted on being loaded into the truck to go home. Obviously, my wife knew better and took me to the trauma center, 20 or so miles away.

My wife called my work (our county fire department) and said what happened. They had a crew at the ER, who helped the hospital staff remove me from our truck with full c-spine precautions.  After several hours in the ER, multiple scans and other test, I was admitted with a level III concussion, lacerated kidney and back injury.  I spent 7 days in the hospital having physical therapy, occupation therapy and even PTSD Thanks to God, my wife and kids as well as a huge support network of friends and family, I worked and continue to work to recover. 

2 additional months off work, and a lot of prayer and rehabilitation and I made great progress.  I no longer shoe horses due to physical limitations but have been able to dispatch full time. I still have chronic migraines, balance issues and memory problems, but I give thanks every day to the good Lord that I am still here!

I also still ride on occasion but have never felt as comfortable as before my accident. I challenged myself last year and went to Auctioneer School to help my cognition and have been happy with the results!

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