For the family of 11-year-old Kinzie “Kiki” Wilson of Rendon, the worst nightmare of their life began on a sunny March afternoon at a horse ranch near Keene.
“We spent five days in pure hell,” the girl’s father, Alan Wilson, said of the days after his daughter’s near-fatal horseback riding accident.
The Wilsons were visiting friends, and Kinzie was riding one of their horses. The nightmare started when Kinzie fell from the horse, struck her head on a metal pipe fence.
The family knew right away the injury was serious. They called 911, and paramedics with Keene Fire Department responded.
Keene Fire Chief Matt Gillin said his department received the call at 5:50 p.m. and immediately notified a CareFlite helicopter to stand by “because of the nature of the injury.”
“When we arrive at a scene, we assess the patient. We have to make a decision within the first minute or so on whether we need to call in CareFlite so we can get them there as quickly as possible,” Gillin said.
In Kinzie’s case, “We called them right away,” Gillin said.
The CareFlite helicopter landed in a nearby field to pick Kinzie up, then carried her to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. She was rushed into surgery where doctors worked to relieve pressure on her brain caused by the fractures in her skull and around her left eye, and to repair the damage.
Doctors told Kinzie’s parents her prognosis was bleak.
“Doctors won’t even know for sure if she’ll make it three more days,” Alan Wilson wrote in an email to friends as he waited for his daughter to come out of surgery. And even if she lived, doctors told the parents, Kinzie could suffer damage to her brain and eye.