Alvina's special visitor

After spending nearly three weeks in Southmead Hospital’s intensive care unit, Alvina Shiel had a very special visitor on Monday when her horse Troy visited her.

Alvina was admitted to the unit on August 10 when she fell from Troy as they approached a jump. The fall resulted in a broken neck and spinal injuries, meaning Alvina was rushed into the Southmead Hospital Major Trauma Centre.

In order to boost Alvina’s spirits her friends and family worked with the team in the intensive care unit to bring Troy to the hospital site.

Alvina said: “I couldn’t believe it actually happened!

“Being able to feed him carrots and smooth him meant the absolute world to me. He knew who I was straight away and I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing for the rest of the day.

“I’m so thankful to my friends, family and all of the staff here for arranging it for me.”

Matt Thomas, North Bristol NHS Trust Intensive Care Unit Consultant, said: "It was great to be able to take Alvina out of the intensive care unit to see Troy. This sort of visit really helps the physiological aspect of patients' recovery.

"You could see the impact it had on her straight away. It was great to see the change in her from the morning to being outside in the fresh air with her horse.

"Her determination to one day ride again is fantastic in terms of her recovery. The people who are positive and have goals to aim for are often the ones who do well."