A Bentley, Alberta woman sustained severe head trauma from being kicked by a horse on December 28, 2018. Deserie Rieu, 35, suffered a brain bleed and was initially intubated due to a swollen airway when she was struck by a hoof on the right side of her face. She also lost several teeth and her cheekbone, jaw and palate were fractured. Family and friends waited with bated breath to hear if she would survive.

Deserie Rieu’s mother, Judy Rieu, says Deserie was working in the barn with a friend who found her face-down on the ground after hearing two horses squeal. Deserie has no memory of what happened and likely did not see the kick coming.

Photo: Facebook/Deserie Rieu Benefit Auction

“She was laying there, and blood and teeth and everything everywhere,” said Judy. “It was I think just a freak accident. Most of the horse trainers told us, like ‘It can happen to any one of us.’”

Deserie is expected to be in hospital for some time and will require many surgeries to repair the broken bones in her face.

A GoFundMe campaign has been started for Deserie by family friend, Susan Lehmann, and by January 8, 2019 had raised $30,622 from more than 250 people. A Benefit Auction is also being held, with bids accepted until January 18.

Donations will be transferred to Deserie directly to help ease the financial strain during her long recovery. Deserie rents a training barn in Bentley, Alberta, 150 km southwest of Edmonton, and she will have to continue to cover the costs of running the barn during her recovery. Judy says it will be at least four months until she can go back to work.

Judy and Deserie are extremely grateful for the support. “It’s pretty amazing,” says Judy. “I guess none of us knew how many friends, and what Des’s kindness ... meant to a lot of people.”

- With files from CBC.ca/news

Main photo: Facebook/Deserie Rieu

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