Friends of a local woman injured in a horse riding accident during the Spike 150 Wagon Train have organized a benefit dance to help cover her medical bills.
Teri Arnold is a Cache Valley native and helped organize a commemorative wagon train for the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad. A few days into wagon train, Arnold was hospitalized after the young colt she was riding tripped.
“We just love them. They are dear friends and when there was an opportunity to jump in and help we just wanted to,” Kris Blankman, one of the volunteers helping with the event, said of Teri and her husband, Brian.
According to her friend Chris Mortensen, Arnold hit her head and then horse fell on her. Arnold was then transported by helicopter to a hospital Ogden. Arnold was in a coma but awoke last Wednesday and has been showing steady improvement, according to updates from Brian on her Facebook page. She was transferred to a long-term acute care unit in Bountiful.
"She started off the day by slowly raising her arm, and waving to me as I headed home to feed the critters," Brian wrote on Saturday. "Just a little thing, but a giant step for her. She smiled at friends and family, squeezed hands and blinked her answers, and her love to everyone today."
Mortensen has been friends with the Arnolds for a long time and because of that, he wanted to organize a fundraiser to help cover their medical costs. His band will be providing live music for the dance next weekend.
“Not only are they doing something worthwhile, Saddle Serenades is an amazing band, and if people like to country dance, it will be just a fun dance for them to come to,” Blankman said. “Teri and her husband love to dance and so it was something that we thought we could do in honor of her that would help her.”
The fundraiser dance will be at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Canyon Elementary School Gym, 270 S. 1300 East, Hyrum. Admission is a $5 donation at the door.
Other donations will be accepted throughout the evening or can be mailed to PO Box 405 Paradise, UT, 84328. Checks or money orders should be made out to Brian Arnold.
“Brian and Teri would be the first people that would jump in and do something like this for somebody else. It was really easy to want to do,” Blankman said.