Well-Wishes for Kailey Giancola, Who Remains in Coma After a Fall

Kailey Giancola and Saturday Night Clive in the Virginia Horse Trials International CCI2*-L in October 2019, where they finished 11th. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Our thoughts and prayers this week have been with Kailey Giancola, who has been in a coma since falling from her horse on Monday. The 25-year-old has been working for a groom and rider for Laura Welsh in West Grove, Pennsylvania, and has been developing her horse, Saturday Night Clive, up the levels, successfully tackling the two-star level this year.

Laura kindly provided this update:

“On Monday afternoon, Kailey was found unconscious but breathing after leaving the arena to cool her horse out. We cannot estimate exactly the amount of time she was unconscious before she was located, but it is estimated to be around or under 45 minutes. She was rushed immediately upon finding to Ocala Regional Medical Center and later transported to the Level 1 Trauma Center at the UF Health Shands Hospital.

“She is now stabilized in the Neurointensive Care Unit and receiving exceptional care from a compassionate and highly skilled team of doctors and nurses. She is in a comatose state that has not been medically induced. She has sustained multiple very serious injuries to her brain. Kailey was wearing a helmet at the time of her fall, as she always does. Based on imaging it is believed that her injuries are not simply related to a fall, but that she also suffered a blunt force trauma from a kick of some kind.

Kailey Giancola and Saturday Night Clive at the 2018 American Eventing Championships, where they finished 9th. Photo courtesy of Laura Welsh.

“Kailey has shown tremendous progress that gives us hope despite the devastating injuries she endured. Overnight EEG readings at Shands indicate brainwave activity, albeit very slow, and she has been demonstrating consistent movement in the right side of her body. She has also demonstrated the ability to push the ventilator on her own at times.

“We are hopeful in the face of this nightmare that we will defeat the odds by rallying behind Kailey so she can feel the strength of our faith and love, and we thank the entire eventing and equestrian community for your support of Kailey.

“The road to recovery will be long and it will not be easy, but Kailey is exceptionally gritty, determined, disciplined, smart, and strong. She is a competitive fighter who rides her very best under the high pressure of cross country. She has devoted her entire life to make it through the red and white flags no matter what might happen, and now we pray that same training will help her fight the greatest battle of her life.

“Thank you for uplifting Kailey’s spirit in this most desperate time of need.”

A fund as been started to help towards Kailey’s medical bills. Please join us in sharing your well-wishes and positive thoughts for her full recovery.