What started as a dream vacation turned into a parent’s worst nightmare when an 8-year-old boy was seriously injured in a horse riding accident in Belize. Now, his family say he is “fighting for his life”.
During a stop in Belize on their first-ever voyage, the Kerian family decided to take a trip to the monkey sanctuary, which included horseback riding, mother Heidi told ABC station KMGH-TV.
According to a GoFundMe set up by the family to cover medical bills, when Stefan was on the horse, it “startled and started running”.
“He ended up being dragged by the horse for almost two miles on a gravel road, and his back and head were affected,” his mom shared in an interview with CBS station KCNC-TV.
“My older daughter and I had come back and saw him being dragged and eventually caught up to him,” she added. “Someone got into the cart and stopped the horse.”
to fund me Stefan Kerian
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As a result, the family said Stefan suffered third-degree burns to his back, arms and legs and required surgery to replace part of his scalp.
“He was fighting for his life in the hospital,” she told KCNC-TV. “They’ve stabilized him but they haven’t been able to give him the care he needs, especially given the severity of his injury.”
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To get him home, his family told KMGH-TV they would need a medical plane, which could cost tens of thousands of dollars.
“I just care about him being alive,” she added. “I just, I want to send him home.”
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Although the family started a GoFundMe to cover the cost of the medical flight—more than $64,000 had been raised as of Monday—a local news story eventually led them to someone who could help.
After hearing the family’s story on KCNC-TV, Geno Haggan, owner of a Colorado-based medical evacuation service, was immediately moved to help the family — and for free.
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“It gives me great pride to be able to do this for someone else,” the owner of Peak Medevac International told the media.
In a post on their Facebook page, the transit service said they were “thrilled that we could help get this little guy back home in Denver.”
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Setfan returned home late Sunday night and was taken to a children’s hospital in Aurora, KCNC-TV reported.
There, his family said Stefan “will receive the specialized care he needs to make a full recovery.”
“Thank you all for your prayers and generous donations,” a family member wrote in a GoFundMe update over the weekend. “We are blessed to have all of you in our lives.”