Gofundme Dalton Bruton
Although his family initially feared he wouldn't survive, an Oklahoma teen has been released from the hospital just days after an encounter with a horse sent him into cardiac arrest.
Dalton Bruton, 16 — whose family owns a farm with over 50 horses — was preparing the animals for a virus check last week when one horse became uncontrollable, according to NBC station KFOR.
"We were just kind of trying to corner and, you know, get her calmed down a little bit," the teen recalled during an interview with the outlet. "And I got whacked!"
"I thought she just knocked the breath out of me," he added. "I was unaware of any other issues going on internally."
However, the injuries he sustained on May 19 were more serious.
The kick, which landed "directly in the chest," sent him into "traumatic cardiac arrest," according to a GoFundMe set up to help cover medical costs.
Additionally, he suffered from cardiac tamponade — which occurs "when the space around your heart fills" with fluid, causing a drop in blood pressure, according to the Cleveland Clinic — as well as an aortic dissection.
"After initial treatment in Liberal, and evaluation of the risks and surgical needs, Dalton was flown early Friday morning to Wichita and taken directly to surgery, where they removed 300mL of fluid from around his heart and placed chest tubes [in]," the GoFundMe organizer wrote.
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Despite concern that Dalton's story wouldn't have a "happy ending," he was on the road to recovery within days.
"This has been a very intense experience," read an update from the teen's mother, Deni Bruton, which was shared on the GoFundMe account Tuesday.
In the update, the boy's mom recalled how right after the accident, the family had been "told several times" that "we were going to lose him."
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Fortunately, he was able to start walking again just two days later, and earlier this week, he passed a stress test, which cleared him to come home from the hospital.
"We were not expecting a happy ending," his mom wrote.
In the latest update on the fundraising page, posted on Wednesday, the organizer said that the teen was heading home, which was "absolutely incredible."
As for bouncing back, Dalton said that he felt determined to make it through.
"I do recall repeating the sentence, 'I'm not going to die today,' multiple times," he told KFOR.
Earlier this week, the Kansas Pony of America Club — of which the teen is a member — shared their excitement about his "tremendous recovery."
"We're excited to see him back riding later this year," they wrote.