For 16-year-old Dalton Bruton, being around horses has always been a "calming experience." Not so much last week, when the Oklahoma teen got kicked so hard by one that he ended up having a heart attack. KFOR reports on the May 19 incident on the horse farm owned by Dalton's family in Beaver County, where he was readying the animals so they could be checked for viruses. One mare, however, became particularly ornery. "We were just kind of trying to ... get her calmed down a little bit," Dalton notes. "And I got whacked."
By "whacked" he means kicked in the chest so hard that he went into "traumatic cardiac arrest," per a GoFundMe set up for him. Dalton, who initially thought he'd just had the wind knocked out of him, also suffered an aortic dissection and cardiac tamponade, which the Cleveland Clinic notes is when "the space around your heart fills with blood or other fluid, putting pressure on your heart." Dalton was rushed to a nearby medical center, then taken to Wesley Children's Hospital in Wichita, Kan., where doctors performed surgery and removed more than 300ml of fluid from around his heart.
Amazingly, the teen was up and walking within two days of the accident, though he's still recuperating in the hospital. "I do recall repeating the sentence, 'I'm not going to die today,' multiple times," he tells KFOR. The GoFundMe for Dalton, which is raising money to help pay for medical costs and travel expenses for his family, had drawn in nearly $7,000 as of Friday morning. He's set to go home this week, though doctors have told him to steer clear of his favorite animal for a while. The Kansas Pony of the Americas Club wrote earlier this week, per People: "We're excited to see him back riding later this year." (Read more cardiac arrest stories.)