Dalton Bruton 16 years old from Turpin, Oklahoma was kicked in the chest by a horse Thursday evening May 19th, 2022. The kick landed squarely over his heart causing cardiac arrest and cardiac tamponade. Chest compressions were administered by his father. He was transported to Southwest Medical Center in Liberal, Ks by his parents. There was no time to spare waiting on help. Upon arrival scans showed cardiac tamponade and aortic dissection, this made flying an extreme high risk, but his only chance was to get him to a trauma center. He was then flown to Wichita, Ks on a plane by EagleMed LLC. team where he was met by the trauma team and immediately went into surgery at Wesley Children’s Hospital. They performed a pericardial window and removed 300ML of blood that had gathered around his heart and placed 2 chest tubes. His heart was severely bruised and a minor break in his sternum. More detailed diagnostics ruled out the aortic dissection.
He was in the PICU for 3 days then was moved to a regular room. On Tuesday May 24th he underwent a stress test that he passed. As it is looking right now the Dr’s are thinking he will make a full recovery with no long-term effects. He was released to go home May 25th.
Short background on Dalton:
He has grown up around horses his entire life. We usually run about 50 head of horses year-round on our farm. He has been in the show ring since the age of 18 months old. He has so many wins to his name there are just too many to list, but they include State, National and World levels. It’s nothing new for him to draw a crowd in public from people wanting to watch him work with young colts. He started training his own horses from a very young age, picking out a new prospect every year from our foal crops and has been extremely successful. You can ask anyone that knows him. He has a true gift with horses. He rides English and Western and also Drives. Outside of the show ring one is of favorite events is cowboy mounted shooting. There is more to Dalton than just a life of horses. He is an actor at a local community theater. His last role was George Gibbs in Our Town. He is a very active boy scout well on his way to earning Eagle. He loves community service of any kind including baking 300+ cookies and going door to door at Christmas and handing them out with his cub scouts that he leads, but his favorite is helping hand out food at the Turpin food pantry. Dalton loves to sing. Scout leaders, among other people have said he has a natural gift to bring people together and does so through song. Many people will tell you; he has no off button with his singing. We hardly ever listen to a radio anymore on road trips because we have Dalton. You always know where Dalton is because you can hear him singing away. That’s how he earned his nickname Tweety Bird. (see link provided below)
The Kick that changed our lives; When you are around horses for many years you at some point get too comfortable. Everyone does it. I can’t name a person alive that hasn’t done what Dalton is guilty of. It was simply placing his hand on her hip. We were starting to run out of daylight. Dalton and his dad were starting to rush things a little bit. He was trying to catch a broodmare for routine health screening. She was the last one on the list for the day. She was standing along a fence. Dalton’s dad was near her head. They did not have the halter on her yet, Dalton noticed she looked like she might backup into the fence, so he reached up and placed his hand on her hip thinking this will stop her from backing up and keep her safe. As soon as his hand touched her, she fired both back feet landing one directly over his heart and the other on his arm. His act of trying to keep her calm almost cost him his life.
Author: Deni Burton
Kuel Horse Ranch – Home of the barrel K branded horses and ponies
Phillip & Deni Bruton