Lindsay Holstead: Back in the Saddle
Equestrian Lindsay Holstead was leading her warmblood to the pasture on an unseasonably cold day in April 2013, when he became rambunctious and began to buck. “He’d torn a ligament eight months earlier and had been exercised daily on a treadmill, but hadn’t been turned out for all that time,” Holstead says. “So he was especially frisky. He bucked and bumped into me. I lost my balance and fell, and his hoof hit me in the right side of the forehead where it curves toward the temple, shattering my skull.”
Holstead was unconscious when the stable in Magnolia,
Texas, called 911. Paramedics with the Montgomery
County Fire and Rescue Service arrived on the scene,
saw the skull fracture, splintered bone and scalp and
facial lacerations and called Memorial Hermann Life
Flight® for transport to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical
Center’s Level I Texas Trauma Institute.
At the Institute, a CT scan showed a right frontal
depressed skull fracture, subarachnoid hemorrhage,
subdural hematoma and fractures of the right maxillary
sinus, inferior orbit wall and greater sphenoid wing.
Neurosurgeon Karl M. Schmitt, M.D., an assistant
professor of neurosurgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth,
performed a craniotomy. In a four-hour surgery, he
debrided the facial laceration and skull fracture and
repaired a tear in the dura, the tough fibrous membrane
that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
Holstead was taken to Mischer Neuroscience Institute’s Neurotrauma ICU in serious but stable condition. After
two days in intensive care, she was transferred to
Memorial Hermann-TMC’s Signature Suites. Two days
later she was released to home.
“Dr. Schmitt saved my life,” she says. “Everyone did an
outstanding job. I bounced back very well and quickly.
I’m glad to be here, period.”
Two weeks after her surgery she followed up with
neurosurgeon Scott Shepard, M.D., a member of the
MNI team and an assistant professor of neurosurgery
at UTHealth Medical School. In November, Dr. Shepard
placed an artificial prosthetic implant to repair a skull
defect where a portion of Holstead’s bone was destroyed.
“I want to say how truly amazing everyone was at the
hospital during my time of need. The Memorial Hermann
team was steadfast, professional, attentive and did
everything the right way,” she says. “The doctors were
fantastic and saved my life. I had never had the need
to be admitted to Memorial Hermann-TMC for trauma
before, and my family and I were highly impressed.
I often question where I might be today if it weren’t for
the Memorial Hermann team.”