An Oklahoma teen was brought back from the brink after being kicked by a horse so hard it caused a heart attack, KTLA sister station KFOR reports.
“Ironically, my favorite animal happens to be the horse,” said Dalton Bruton.
Horses have been in Bruton’s blood since he was a toddler.
The now-16-year-old has spent most of his life training, grooming and professionally riding horses. His family owns a farm with more than 50 of them.
“I was born into it. It was 16 years of living around them and just kind of here,” said Bruton. “It’s a calming experience being around them.”
But his last encounter with horses turned out to be anything but calming. Bruton was getting the horses ready to be checked for viruses, and that’s when he said one of them became uncontrollable.
“We were just kind of trying to corner and, you know, get her calmed down a little bit,” said Bruton. “And I got whacked!”
The horse’s enraged kick sent the teen into traumatic cardiac arrest. Her foot landed right over his heart — severely bruising it and causing it to bleed.
“I thought she just knocked the breath out of me,” said Bruton. “I was unaware of any other issues going on internally.”
The teen was flown to Wesley Children’s Hospital in Wichita and taken directly into surgery.
Doctors removed more than 300 milliliters of fluid from around his heart.
“I do recall repeating the sentence, ‘I’m not going to die today,’ multiple times,” recalled Bruton.
The determined teen was walking two days after the tragedy.
“I guess I can go with the first rule of horse safety that I should know after sixteen years: Don’t go behind the horse,” said Bruton. “It seems like some kind of divine intervention, so might as well just live with that.”
Dalton is expected to be released this week. He has to follow the doctor’s orders and stay away from horses for a while.
He has set up a GoFundMe to help pay for his hospital expenses.