A star show jumper who is lucky to be alive after she was kicked in the face by a horse has woken from her coma in hospital.
Jamie Ellis, 27, was in a stall getting ready for a show jumping event at Boneo, on the Mornington Peninsula an hour south of Melbourne, last Saturday when she was kicked by the animal.
She was airlifted to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne where she spent five days in an induced coma before being woken on Thursday – with one of her first questions asking about her beloved dog Rosie rather than her own condition.
Jamie Ellis has woken from an induced coma after being kicked in the face by a horse as she prepared for a show jumping event in Victoria
Despite the best efforts of specialist surgeons, Ms Ellis will be permanently blind in her right eye as a result of her injuries.
Her mother Karen Ellis said on Friday her daughter had left the ICU and is speaking, managing to even make a joke, but has a long and dauting recovery ahead of her.
‘Today was a great day! Jamie not only sat in a chair for most of the day, she had a shower and has finally been moved out of the ICU,’ Ms Ellis said.
‘She is doing so amazingly well. Tuesday will mark the start of the reconstruction surgeries which will see her back in the ICU briefly but her spirits are good and she is dealing with everything that is being thrown at her with courage and grace.’
‘So very proud to be her mum.’
Her best friend, Caitlin Stewart, described Mr Ellis as ‘bright’ and a ‘fighter’.
‘She is very lucky she’s not dead,’ Ms Stewart told The Herald Sun.
‘The first thing she was concerned about was (Rosie) … She has an amazing attitude on life.’
Ms Ellis has a science degree from Melbourne University, a Masters of biomedical science in muscle wastage in patients with disease and had been partway through her PhD at the same university, which will now have to be postponed.
Ms Stewart said she also works with children recovering from spinal injuries at Royal Children’s Hospital and so is approaching her own injuries and recovery in an ‘academic’ rather than ’emotional’ way.
Ms Ellis is widely known in the show jumping community and is set for a long rehabilitation
Ms Ellis, from Blackburn in Melbourne’s east, is widely known in the Victorian equestrian community and grew up riding at nearby Lilydale Pony Club.
Messages of support have poured in from Equestrian Victoria, Equestrian the Royal Children’s Hospital and Melbourne University.
‘It’s so good to hear Jamie has been woken and is talking,’ one friend said.
‘You have so much love and support behind you! Keep resting up and cracking jokes, You’ve got this!’ added another.
A GoFundMe has been launched to help raise funds for Ms Ellis’s long rehabilitation.