Mirte was enjoying watching daughter Nikita ride her horse “Rocket”. The thought of Mirte taking a helmet for herself, hadn’t crossed her mind.
As mum and daughter walked home, family dog "Opal" went into the bushes to investigate something. Mirte doesn’t remember much about what happened next. This is where Nikita helps ‘fill in the gaps’.
Unaware that Opal had disappeared, Rocket got a fright when the dog jumped out of the bushes. Rocket shied sideways, knocking Mirte over. Rocket then turned and ran home, stepping on Mirte’s head in the process. With Mirte having just sustained a major head injury, Nikita had to act fast. Terrified for her mother, she flagged down a passing car who dialled 111.
Severely concussed, Mirte remembers little but worrying about her daughter. “Nikita said I kept trying to reassure her and hold her hand,” Mirte says, “When the rescue crew came, they had trouble separating us. Once I had my faculties back, I realised how incredibly lucky I was not to have been killed by the blow and that the Westpac Rescue Helicopter was there to get me quickly to Auckland Hospital where all the brain injury specialists are.”
“I was also very grateful that the crew could be there for Nikita when I couldn’t be,” she says.
On the long road to recovery, Mirte has a greater appreciation of the time she spends with her family. She is no longer able to ride because doing so would make her injury worse.
“I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that my life is more important than my passion for riding. I put more energy into Nikita’s riding pursuits now.”
“I’m just so glad you’re alive,” Nikita adds, “I think we both are aren’t we?” Mum warmly replies.