What was meant to be a fun ride to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Blaauwberg will forever be remembered as a day of tragedy for a Morningstar woman.
Telana Lezar from Morningstar says she and her lifelong friend, Sandy Hoffman, were preparing for a horseback ride up Blaauwberg Hill on the morning of Saturday January 7.
The friends, who both belong to the Cape Hunt Club, were excited about the ride as it was a first for both of them, but they had hardly started the trail when disaster struck.
Ms Lezar said they were riding with another friend when a horse and rider joined the group.
“Within seconds everything changed. The horse turned on Sandy and kicked out with immense force so much so that even my horse spun around. I heard the impact of the kick. It sounded like when you break firewood over your knee. When I looked back at Sandy she was hanging forward and holding her left hip.”
The kick shattered Ms Hoffman’s hip and severed an artery. Ms Lezar said it took two hours for an ambulance to arrive to take her friend to Milnerton Mediclinic.
“She had to be cut out of her clothes. There was so much blood”. The next day, Ms Hoffman was taken into surgery to remove the excess blood and broken fragments of bone from her pelvic area. A few days later, she was back in theatre for a bone graph and to have pins and plates put into her hip.
Her condition deteriorated and she had to have a blood transfusion before the second operation.
“On the day of the second operation, I was allowed to be in the room while they put her under anaesthetic. The procedure took just under four hours and Sandy once again lost a lot of blood and another blood transfusion was given in theatre,” said Ms Lezar.
While in recovery in ICU, Ms Hoffman had to have a third blood transfusion. The accident has had a tremendous impact on her life.
Her business of repairing and servicing horse boxes has come to a halt and the horses she had on her farm have been sent to other farms as she is not able to look after them in her condition.
She returned home last Tuesday and Ms Lezar says a long journey of physiotherapy and medication lies ahead of her.
“The last few days have been extremely heartbreaking, as I have watched this happy, vibrant, fit and capable woman become completely reliant on others to help her to wash and eat,” said Ms Lezar .
Ms Hoffman did not have medical aid and the money from one of her children’s education policies had to be cashed in to cover some of the medical expenses.
Ms Lezar raised funds by inviting people to a local pub and asked them to donate whatever they could in a box she had at the entrance. She managed to raise R15 000 and gave a special thanks to Cape Hunt Club for all their support.
“The club has been so supportive and the accident didn’t even happen on a hunt but they still want to look after her.”
The funds raised have been used to pay for a carer to help Ms Hoffman with her recovery at home. Ms Lezar is urging anyone who would like to make a donation to help with the extensive medical bills to call her at 074 158 9000 or email her at telana.Lezar@gmail.com
“Once again we learn the lesson of how everything can change in a second, nothing is a guaranteed and life is absolutely 100 percent not to be taken for granted,” she said.