Woman thankful to be alive after horse riding accident - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Woman thankful to be alive after horse riding accident

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Mary James and her cousin's horse Mary James and her cousin's horse
SPOKANE, Wash. -

One woman avoids another family tragedy. She says it’s because of the exceptional work and care of the hospital facilities in her area that allowed her to recover so quickly.

Mary James is walking again after being in the hospital for a week for 10 rib fractures and a collapsed lung. The accident happened while riding her cousin's horse.

“I’m looking at her kind of twisting and I’m thinking oh crud she is coming over on me and it's the last thing I remember,” Mary says.

She is visiting Chewelah from California for her uncle's funeral. George Bell died in a plane crash near Deer Park two weeks ago. A tragic situation for her family that could have taken another bad turn.

“I could've died. I easily could've died. If the horse had fallen on me four inches over, I would've been crushed,” she says.

But, she says what saved her life is the exceptional health care. Her cousin drove her to the emergency room in Chewelah and then she was airlifted to Sacred Heart hospital. Mary is a nurse executive in California, meaning she trains hospital employees.

“I’ve been in multiple hospitals in California,” she says. “I've never seen the amount of compassion, caring, integrity, professionalism these nurses have.”

And she’s grateful her family didn't have to plan another funeral.

“If I can correlate anything together with this accident that I had, it's that my uncle was watching out for me up there and he knew it wasn't going to be okay if I was up there too. So he was saying nope you've got to take the best care of her. So this hospital, they're all angels in there.”

Mary was discharged from the hospital Saturday, but she says she has two to six weeks more of recovery.

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