Equestrian therapy helps local man regain strength after 4 month coma

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CULLMAN COUNTY, Ala (WIAT) — 24-year-old Andrew Burkett Winfrey looks forward to every Wednesday when he goes to equestrian therapy.

“I love horses,” said Andrew.

He especially loves his buddy, Ringo. Ringo is his side-kick who gives him something really special, independence.

“It’s calming,” said Andrew.

Growing up, Andrew wasn’t riding horses. He was playing baseball, football, and anything that was active. That changed in February 2012 when he got into a car accident that left him in a coma for four months.

“They would tell us that there was pretty much no hope that he would survive at all and if he did, they said he’ll be a vegetable the rest of his life so they didn’t give any hope what-so-ever,” said Holly Winfrey, Andrew’s mom.

But Andrew did wake up. He’s had to re-learn how to walk , talk, and do things on his own. That’s where equestrian therapy has come in.

“His core strength was minimal. His lateral and longitude balance was minimal. He’s just come such a long way to start at that point in such a relatively short amount of time to advance to where he is now and nearly completely independent,” said Keli Anders, a PATH certified riding instructor.

Andrew saddles up Ringo, grooms, and rides him.

I love seeing him do what he enjoys and if it’s helping him in the process then I love it. I want him to be happy and keep progressing,” said Holly Winfrey.

It’s been a process but Andrews’s quality of life now is far beyond anyone’s expectations and he continues to ride along.

“He just constantly blows my mind, every day,” said Anders.


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