The incident happened Saturday, June 12, when Christianson and her mount collided with another horse. The C5 and C6 vertebrae in her neck were fractured as a result of her fall from horseback, and her spinal chord was injured. She was airlifted to Harborview Hospital in Seattle, Wash., where doctors performed surgery.
Christianson emerged from surgery in good spirits. Her surgeons were able to repair the fractured vertebrae, but her spinal chord is bruised. Friends report that she can hold her arms up and move all of her fingers except her thumbs. She can also feel her feet, but cannot move them. Her doctors estimate it will take about two weeks for most of the major swelling to go down and about three months for the bones and muscles to get stronger.
Proceeds donated to Christianson’s fund will go toward not only payment of her mounting hospital bills, but also to the care of her two horses, Lady and Tina. Organizers have set a goal of $100,000, which they hope to reach by the end of the year.
For more information or to make a donation, visit 7thgradefieldtrip.chipin.com/money-for-melanie.