Boy ‘lost his imagination’ after horse kicks him in the head


A British boy who was kicked in the head by a horse has finally begun to recover – five years after the incident.

Isaac Leyland (13) was just eight years old when he suffered the trauma in a paddock near his grandmother’s house in the UK town of Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. He spent three days in an intensive care unit of a local hospital.

Although Isaac initially appeared to have suffered no serious damage – he was sent home after less than a week in hospital – it soon became apparent that the youngster had suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that could affect him for the rest of his life.

Isaac was unable to control his emotions and started suffering from tics. He developed speech impediments and lost the ability to imagine and create.

“The trauma of Isaac’s accident has had such a huge impact on the family, to see your firstborn struggle so much,” says Nicola Leyland, Isaac’s mom.

“My once confident boy had fallen apart.

“It wasn’t until we bought Isaac home that we realised the complexity of his condition,” she recalls.

“He was unable to control his hysterical laughing and then he would be unable to keep his patience, and he’d misjudge situations. He was always such a careful, cautious and organised child but he struggled to remember simple things and had a short attention span.

“He struggled to write creatively at school and lost his friends because he couldn’t join in and play games with them.

“He had completely lost all his confidence.”


Isaac remained undiagnosed for some time after the accident and it wasn’t until Nicola read an article on childhood brain injuries that she realised Isaac had been suffering. She was able to get a referral to a specialist who finally diagnosed him.

“There were four years of torment after Isaac’s accident and we had to remove him from school,” Nicola said.

“He developed nervous tics as a result of the anxiety the injury had caused, and began stuttering and would hesitate before walking anywhere.

“I had to rebuild my boy and it is only the last year that he has started to make real progress.


"He’s been able to play football for his local team again and going to martial arts classes have helped him so much.

“Even having dogs in the house has made a massive difference to Isaac’s life and we know he has such a special bond with them.”

Nicola is now hoping to raise awareness about childhood brain injuries on her blog, Ruffled and Unruffled.

Sources: Magazine Features

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