Acres Homes Resident Regains Voice after Vicious Horse Bite Attack
One of the first things you notice about Ivory Lindsey Sr. is his soft
speaking voice, which isn’t noteworthy until you realize he nearly lost the ability to talk.
A year ago, Lindsey was viciously attacked and bitten on the throat by a horse. The incident nearly killed him and severely damaged his neck. In fact, his recovery amazes his doctors.
On May 23, Lindsey and other trauma survivors—some suffering from motor vehicle accidents, work‐related injuries and incidents of violent crime—will attend Harris Health System’s Trauma Survivors Celebration. The event reunites doctors, nurses, rehabilitation staff and first‐ responders with survivors who were treated in the system’s Level 1 Trauma Center of Ben Taub Hospital or the Level 3 Trauma Center at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital.
The annual event is a way to celebrate survivor stories of perseverance amid devastating medical obstacles.
Lindsey, 57, loves horses—he likes to care for them, ride them and race them. He’s an active Dolly Wright Outlaws trail rider and lives in Acres Homes. So what happened on May 1, 2016, caught everyone—including him—by surprise. He and his trail rider group had just hosted a fundraiser. He was leading his horse on a cool‐down walk, when, without warning, a horse across a fence grabbed him by the throat and clamped down.
“My throat was destroyed,” he remembers. “I couldn’t breathe and was drowning in my own blood.”
Once the horse released him, he began falling and saw blood splashing on his boots. Miraculously, he felt no pain. He signaled for help and was driven to a nearby hospital. Unfortunately, the facility was ill‐prepared to take care of his tremendous medical needs, so he was immediately transported to Ben Taub Hospital.
“In the ambulance, I saw an angel. It was (Dr. Robert Todd, medical director of Ben Taub’s trauma department),” he recalls. “I saw his eyes and saw him nod, and I knew I would be OK.”
Johnson found out later that Todd is normally not in the hospital on Sundays, but was on this particular day.
“Without him, I don’t believe I’d be here today,” Lindsey says.
After a fast response to save his life, doctors began the arduous task of reconstructing Lindsey’s neck and throat. It took seven surgeries to repair his bones, blood and air passages, muscles and vocal cords. When it was all done, doctors weren’t sure of their success.
He stayed in the hospital 28 days.
“I wanted to talk so bad. When I was alone, I tried covering my tracheotomy and saying words,” he remembers. “One day, I heard my voice. Later, several of my doctors came in. One of them handed me a tablet and asked me to write answers to a few questions. I said, ‘What do you want to ask me?’ You should have seen the looks on their faces!”
After that, it was clear Lindsey was going to be able to talk and swallow. Today, he still bears the scars of the bite on his neck, but harbors no ill will toward horses or the horse that bit him.
“I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time,” he says of the incident.
His advice to horse owners, “Never underestimate a horse and always be aware.”