'If I wasn't wearing a helmet, I would probably be dead'
A YOUNG horse rider from Casino will always have her helmet on tight after it saved her life during what could have been her last ride.
Before leaving hospital yesterday Alyssa Kenny, 12, left a heartfelt thank-you note on a napkin for her rescuers and doctors who came to her aid when she fell from her horse on Tuesday night.
"If I wasn't wearing a helmet, I probably would be dead," Alyssa said after doctors told her about the severity of her fall.
What started as a quiet ride under the watchful eye of mum, Amy, at her grandma's property turned into a potentially deadly fall for young girl.
Mrs Kenny, who is a registered nurse, said it appeared her daughter panicked when she tried to slow the horse and fell, holding the reins as she was knocked unconscious when she hit the ground.
At that moment, Mrs Kenny clicked into "nurse mode" as she and her mother, who is also a registered nurse, ran over and assessed Alyssa and quickly called triple zero.
The next thing Alyssa remembered was being inside the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter flying to Lady Cilento Children's Hospital.
As she watched the chopper take off with her daughter, it dawned on Mrs Kenny how serious her daughter's injuries could be as she drove to the hospital in Brisbane.
"I think it was the not knowing and not being able to be with her that was scary," Mrs Kenny said.
Thankfully, Alyssa was able to walk away from the fall after an overnight stint in hospital with no broken bones.
While the fall hasn't swayed her love of horse riding, the young rider plans to slowly ease back into riding as she recovers from a severe concussion and whiplash.
In the meantime, Alyssa is eager to be back at home and playing with her horse and dad's dog after a scary 24 hours.
"Home is where I want to be right now," she said.