Aspiring teen Jockey Determined to ride again despite leg amputation
EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- A young man with the dream of becoming a jockey faces a major setback, after a riding accident left him with a broken back, and an amputated leg. 19-year-old Bryce Bourdieu says he was training to be a jockey at the time, and remembers everything surrounding the moments of that fateful day. Moments that changed his life forever.
"Once she landed on top of me, I heard my back break and when she got up, my leg was caught under her. When everything calmed down and I started feeling my body, I knew something was wrong," says Bourdieu.
The severity of his injuries was soon revealed, as surgeons got to work on his broken back and etensive leg damage, all while his mother rushed to be near him. She was in Ruidoso, working at Ruidoso Downs when she got the call that Bryce had been injured. Hours later, she was by his side, where she has been ever since. Her faith now, stronger than ever.
"I had to surrender. There was nothing I could do to save him," says his mother, Julie Farr. "I've watched him come back and come out from a blown-out knee and play football. I completely believe anything's possible."
When doctors decided Bryce's leg was beyond repair and would have to be amputated, his positive attitude kept them going.
"I told myself there's not time to be sad. There's nothing that I can do. If I just sit here and be sad that only makes it worse for the people around me" Bryce says.
The days and weeks in the hospital are a blur of surgeries. Now, months later, Bryce is at home, religiously attending physical therapy. Step by step, he's getting stronger every day. He's getting used to his new normal, and looks forward to - as they say - "getting back on the horse." He has one more surgery to go before getting his prosthesis, and then saying goodbye to the wheelchair.
His story is inspiring others, and many friends, fellow riders and complete strangers are helping with donations. A prosthesis is expensive, in addition to mounting medical bills. The racing community formed "Team Bryce." You can make a donation by clicking here.