29 Jan 2022

Back on the horse: Longford showjumper Aisling Byrne thrilled with recovery

Back on the horse: Longford showjumper Aisling Byrne thrilled with recovery

Local showjumper Aisling Byrne before her accident. The Newtownforbes lady is back showjumping.

Renowned Longford showjumper Aisling Byrne has spoken of her “huge relief” at being able to return to the saddle last weekend two and a half years after being told she may never walk again.

Aisling Byrne sustained two broken hips, a smashed pelvis and internal bleeding after a horse she had been out exercising reared up and fell backwards on top of the talented showjumper in February 2018.

Aisling spent nine days in intensive care, underwent surgery more than once and spent months in hospital as she made her painstaking but ultimately successful return to full health.

Last Saturday, the talented showjumper made her her successful return as she took on and successfully cleared a round of fences at Mullingar Equestrian Centre.

“It has meant the absolute world to me to get back show jumping again,” she told the Leader on Monday.

“I had been told by so many medical professionals that I definitely would never be able to show jump and although I was very determined, it is always a worry in the back part of your mind that you won't physically be able to.”

A video showing Aisling in action was posted on her own Facebook page in the wake of her successful return, much to the delight of her many friends and supporters who reacted in large numbers to savour the Longford woman's good news.

And, despite her long road to recovery, Aisling had some well thought out advice for those currently undergoing similar challenges.

“I strongly believe that everyone should have goals and dreams that they aspire to as this keeps us progressing forward and it's important to surround yourself with people who also believe that you can do it and are positive about your situation, whatever it may be.

“Even if you don't achieve your goal, I bet you will have achieved a lot more than if you had done nothing. If everyone blindly accepted what doctors always told them, there would be no miracle recoveries in the world as people just wouldn't have even tried in the first place.

I had plenty of set-backs along the way so recovery has been by no means straight forward and I need to work daily to keep improving but I realised that even though my situation could look pretty dismal at times, the only thing I could do was to stay positive and keep believing that I would be ok in the end and recover to a level that I was happy with,” she said.

Aisling, in her own humble and magnanamous way, reserved a special mention for her family and close friends who stood by her throughout her rehabilitation.

“None of this would have been possible without the huge support from my family, friends and community as it can be a lonely place when you've been so severely injured and the future is so uncertain,” she said.

“I am still blown away by the huge amount of support I received and every card and well wish genuinely meant so much and helped keep my spirits lifted. I still have people praying for me, which I definitely still need and appreciate and I am hugely grateful.”

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