His dad thought he’d been attacked by bear

From our December 2018 issue

By Edwin Bronsch – High River, Alta.

As a child growing up in Radisson, Sask., I never had time to be bored, as I had a great relationship with my dog, my gun, and six siblings.

At the age of 18, the stage of life when a teenager thinks he can stop a bullet in his teeth, I was riding horseback to take dad’s cattle to summer pasture about four miles from home. The old cows knew what was happening, so I had no trouble moving them.

On the way home, I cut across country, but I had to cross a quarter section line where an old fence wire lay down in the grass. Unfortunately as a colt, my horse had a previous experience of being tangled in barbed wire, and she was suspicious of the wire and would not cross it.

I had to dismount and lead her over the wire, and as she stepped over it, her back leg hooked and she began to kick trying to get free.

Consequently, the wire rose higher and higher on her leg and I was on her left side trying to back her up. By doing this, I was caught between her and the wire.

Clothes badly ripped

She must have kicked me by the forward stroke of her leg and knocked the wind out of me, for when I came to I was on my back looking up at the deep blue sky and there were no stars dancing in my head.

The wire had broke, and the horse was enjoying the nice fresh spring grass. My clothes were badly ripped, and my skin was marked by a horse hoof near my liver area. I was finally able to move and remount by draping myself over her neck and she hoisted me up, heading for home.

I was met by dad who thought I had been attacked by a bear. Mom and dad took me to the doctor, and I laid around for a day, not thinking about that incident until winter of 2017.

At the age of 80, I suddenly had a severe jaundice attack and was booked for liver surgery on Dec. 15. CAT scans showed the bile duct had grown shut and the right lobe of my liver was shrivelled, the left lobe had grown to make up for the malfunctioning right lobe, and my gallbladder was inactive. I was totally septic and very close to walking dead!

My doctor called in three fellows-in-training doctors as they had never seen a liver that had functioned for 62 years after such an injury, and I had them examining me carefully internally because I was also a non-drinker.

Fortunately, the pathological report showed it was not cancerous, but I do not want to repeat eight days in intensive care, infections, and five months of recuperation.