British student, 19, is left paralysed after being charged by a bison at a US state park in gap year
A British student taking a gap year in the US says she is lucky to be alive after a bison stormed her, punctured her thigh and threw her into the air.
Amelia ‘Mia’ Dean, 19, is now paralyzed after the 2,000-pound animal ruptured the femoral artery in her left thigh during the shocking attack in South Dakota.
While Miss Dean, of Brockham, Surrey, lay bleeding and wounded in the 71,000-acre Cluster State Park, the wild beast — one of 1,500 on the reserve — stood right next to her head before her friend bravely led it away.
Although Miss Dean and her friend had seen the animal from 100 feet away, she was “horrified to silence” when it rushed toward her, De Telegraaf reports.
Amelia ‘Mia’ Dean, 19, of Brockham, Surrey, is paralyzed after a 2,000-pound bison ruptured the femoral artery in her left thigh during a shocking attack in South Dakota
Miss Dean was only on the second day of her US trip when the attack happened and she had been accepted for a course at the University of Edinburgh
Speaking from her hospital bed, she told KOTA TV: “I remember feeling the pressure on my hip, my hip being pushed back and I remember the feeling of flying in the air and going head over heels.
“It’s a miracle I even lived until the ambulance arrived, let alone saved my life and my leg.
‘I can’t walk without a walker or crutches. I can’t walk far. About 20 meters and I’m done, for a long time.’
On the day of the attack, Miss Dean had been walking along a path through the park with her friend and his dog when they climbed a hill and encountered the lone male bison grazing.
After some deliberation, they decided to walk around the bison, trying not to disturb it before returning to the trail. At that moment the animal stopped grazing and started running towards Miss Dean.
Her parents Michael and Jacqueline stated: ‘Mia was shocked in silence [and] the bison stopped right in front of her.
The two stared at each other for a few seconds before the bison darted forward, thrust its horn into the left thigh and threw her head over heels about three to five meters into the air.
“When she hit the ground, Mia was stuck, unable to move her bleeding leg, while the bison hung directly overhead for a while, his feet by her head.”
Mis Dean and her boyfriend encountered a lone 2000 Ib bison while walking a trail in South Dakota’s Cluster State Park
The sun sets behind a herd of bison in the southern Black Hills of South Dakota
Miss Dean has been paralyzed with nerve damage under the left knee since the attack seven weeks ago. She is being treated in Rapid City, South Dakota, where her parents Matthew and Jacqueline flew to her.
Mr and Mrs Dean are raising £140,000 to transfer their daughter to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, for specialist treatment.
Miss Dean was only on the second day of her US trip when the attack took place and she had been accepted for a course at the University of Edinburgh.
Her parents added: ‘Mia is English and although her travel insurance has so far paid for the femoral artery bypass, they even refuse to pay for the initial examination by her nerve injury specialist.
“Mayo Clinic, a world-class hospital in the peripheral nerve area — a very niche area — has accepted Mia as a Rapid City Hospital referral.”
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