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Hello everybody, thanks for taking the time to read Jessica's story.
Ever since the first time Jessica sat on a horse as a 3 years old, she had been obsessed with becoming a professional show jumper, spending every day of her childhood on or around the local stables and yards.
At 15, through working part-time around her school studies, she had saved enough to finally buy her very own competitive pony and started the long, hard journey to becoming the best she could be.
To help her achieve my dreams she left home after finishing school at just 16, to work as a live-in rider and groom at various International show jumping and dealership yards. This allowed her to continue practicing, learn from the very best and luckily for her, work in an area that she loved.
However, in the summer of 2007, when she was just 18, she had an accident which changed the entire course of her life.
Whilst picking stones out of the hoof of a highly-strung stallion, she was kicked, full force, on the side of her head.
After eventually being discovered and flown by the Air Ambulance to the nearest Hospital, she was kept under close observation and underwent a variety of tests, of which she now has little recollection, until she was eventually discharged into her mother's care.
Needless to say, when she returned home, to live with her mother, she was a very different person from the bubbly, confident and focused young woman that had left home just 2 years earlier.
After the chronic disc swelling behind her left eye sustained by the head injury had reduced and following numerous hospital consultations and tests she was found to have multiple areas of concern including:
- Temporal lobe brain injury
- Intracranial pressure
- Head injuries including a Zygomatic Bone Lateral Wall Orbital fracture & orbital floor fracture.
- Chronic ophthalmic disc swelling behind her left eye
- Haematoma in her left eye
- High pressure optic nerve
- Dislocated disc in jaw which required further surgery in 2012
- Underlying problems due to suspected bleed into neck from orbital trauma
Unfortunately, in the months and years since her accident, her injuries have seen her battle with further problems including:
- Absence seizures
- Speech and co-ordination issues
- Depth perception problems
- Double vision and loss of balance
- Temporary loss of vision in her left eye
- Problems with thorax & ribs
- Snapping scapula
- BPPV (Benign paroxysmal & horizontal canal positional vertigo)
- Tight tendons & ligaments in neck
This has left her almost completely dependent on her mother for the completion of basic tasks, in fact she rarely leaves the home now and will only attempt the smallest and safest of tasks due to pain, anxiety and fear of aggravating her injuries.
It has also led to her withdrawal from the horsing world, which was her life, and losing contact with the many good friends she made along the way.
Road to Recovery
After many years being bounced around the system, she was referred to the Head Injury Team at the local Hospital, where she is undergoing a program of treatment for vestibular rehabilitation for people with brain injuries.
She has also been assessed and approved for treatment by the Injured Jockey Fund, however their live-in rehabilitation program will cost approx £1,500 per week.
As she is unable to work, and her mother provides her with full time care, we are unable to raise this kind of money, but their specialist knowledge, equipment and rehabilitation would improve her life and return her to an independence, which while taken for granted by many of us, she can only dream of.
After this has been achieved, her long-term goal is to enrol onto an equine further education course at a specialist College which would allow her to progress onto a meaningful life and career in the horse world, however the course fees would also be unachievable without your kind support.
Whilst we appreciate that any further show jumping is out of the question, we believe that with your help and kindness she can change her life around, starting to live and experience life as any independent young woman should and more than anything start a return to her former life and to the only things that made her feel truly happy and complete.
Many, many thanks for your time.
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Jessica Norbury started crowdfunding