My 11 y/o son was riding a horse that he's been on for 9 months. He had been teaching his horse the barrel pattern, and had been quite successful. As his confidence grew, he was pushing his horse a little harder. "That night" his horse got excited, coming out of a turn, kicked and set of a a series of events that could have been horrific. "W" came out of the saddle, off the horse and hit his head - hard.
I was standing 20 feet from him and couldn't stop it. "W" was knocked out cold. He came to quickly, but not gracefully. I thought he was "OK", checked him over, he denied needing to go to the hospital. As he sat and caught his breath, i put all the horses away. About 15 minutes later, he asked me "Mom, what happened". I didn't know what he meant, until i realized that he didn't remember anything. The entire day was a blank. - Off the the hospital!
Mechanism of injury, loss of consciousness and memory loss brought about several tests, and i was told he had a brain bleed and needed to be life flighted to the nearest pediatric trauma center. The next 12 hours were beyond what any parent should have to endure. The next morning the neurosurgeon informed us that although "W" was suffering from a severe concussion, there was no brain bleed. You can not imagine how many times i have Thanked God that I bought my kids helmets and that my kids are in the habit of ALWAYS putting them on! I know, without a doubt in my mind, that had "W" not been wearing a helmet, we would not have left that hospital the next day.