This is the moment an equestrian nicknamed the ‘Galloping Granny’ who broke her neck when she fell off her horse was reunited with her beloved pet – in a hospital car park.
Alvina Shiel, 68, was injured when she fell off her horse, named Troy, and suffered a broken neck and damaged spinal cord.
Now recovering in Southmead Hospital, Bristol, Alvina was reunited with the 18-year-old horse, who she had seen every day for two years, in the car park.
Her daughter Shelley Sterckx, 37, arranged with medics for Troy to visit Alvina, nicknamed ‘the Galloping Granny’ by friends and family, in his horse box.
Alvina said: “I’m determined to get back on my boy. If not I will have to sit on him with the reigns in my mouth.”
She added: “It was the most amazing feeling that I have ever had. I love him so much.
“It didn’t sink in for a long time that it was going to happen. It was just so emotional.
“I actually touched him and fed him. He’s a good boy anyway but he was very much out of his comfort zone with what was going on in the car park.
“He didn’t put a hoof wrong.”
Her daughter added: “I one hundred per cent believe that Mum will ride again.”
Shelley said: “It was incredible watching her being reunited with Troy. They’ve both missed each other so much.
“They’ve got an amazing bond. We had the conversation with the hospital, because Mum sees him every day.
“She’s gone two weeks without seeing him. We’d done video calls with Troy in his field but it was not quite the same.
“We spoke to the doctors and nurses and they were incredible, and believe that seeing the animals is good medicine.”
Troy visited his owner on Monday, with a section of the car park cordoned off especially.
Shelley added: “It fell into place quite well and quite quickly. She has broken her neck and has spinal cord injuries.
“When it was happened, she was paralysed from the elbows down. They don’t know how much feeling she is going to get back.
“It’s going to be a long road. When she comes out of intensive care she will go to a rehabilitation clinic in Salisbury for a few months.”
Grandmother-of-two Alvina, from Clevedon, North Somerset, has now regained feeling in her left toes and can move her arms following the accident last August.
Shelley added: “We are just hoping she will make much more progress. We just don’t know how much feeling is going to come back.
“I’m looking after Troy at the moment and he looks really sad because he’s missing his mum. When they saw each other it was incredible.”
Alvina was speaking to BBC Points West