A Day in the Life of an Eventer & Neuro ICU Nurse

Hi all!

For those that don't know me, my name is Jordan Fellers. I am a 26-year-old Eventer, a Critical Care-Certified Registered Nurse, and a helmet-enthusiast.

I've been riding horses since the age of five, and Eventing since I was eight. I dabbled a bit in United States Pony Club, but decided to focus on working my way to the upper levels of Eventing. I've had a few lovely horses that helped me along the way but my current horse, Corbin, has helped me achieve some of my biggest goals and dreams. In the past year, we completed our very first Intermediate level Horse Trials together, and I hope to one day be able to compete at the Advanced level.

The horse-loving aspect of me, albeit a huge part of my life, is only just a portion of my week. I also work as a registered nurse to help support this wonderful-yet-expensive sport that I love. I graduated from Indiana University in 2015, and started my career in a Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit at a Trauma 1 hospital. For nearly a year now I have balanced full-time hours between my job in the Neuro ICU and my newer job as an Critical Care Float Nurse at another Trauma 1 hospital. 

My career and my experience in the medical field and neuro world, combined with my passion of horse-back riding, is what turned me into a self-proclaimed helmet enthusiast. I see a huge amount of trauma at both jobs, especially those related to motor vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, and horse-back riding. Of course, not all accidents are preventable, but the risk of what we do as equestrians can be significantly decreased by proper safety equipment, specifically helmets. I CANNOT fathom how people choose not to wear helmets during their extra curriculars, but then again, I've witnessed the dark side of that choice as I care for my patients. I think what we often don't realize is how truly vulnerable the human body is, especially the human brain. Due to the nature of my job, I've unfortunately seen just how vulnerable the brain is, and why I choose to protect mine with Trauma Void helmets.

There is a wide range of damage that can be done on the brain due to trauma. Even a small impact can lead to concussions, which most people are familiar with. What most don't know is even a minor concussion is considered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and your brain is put at an increased risk for serious damage with each concussion you get thereafter. Of the plethora of injuries that can be sustained from mild to heavy impacts to the head, one of the most severe is considered a "shearing" injury, specifically known as "Diffuse Axonal Injury." This is a type of injury that is caused from high speed trauma and rotational forces as the brain "shifts" in the hard, protective skull. We see this type of injury all-too-frequently in my workplace. Individuals can certainly have meaningful recovery from these injuries, but they can also have devastating and long-lasting effects. The MIPS technology is proven to reduce rotational motion by absorbing and redirecting rotational forces on the brain resulting from angled impact. For the science nerd in me, this is FASCINATING. MIPS has been in bike helmets and ski helmets for some time now, and I'm thankful it finally made it's way to the eventing and equestrian world!

Hopefully I've babbled on enough that you understand why helmet safety and TBI awareness is so important to me. I've been lucky to only suffer from two concussions in my lifetime, both mild, and both horse related. I've been fortunate to stay safe during my two-plus decades of riding, and I will continue to try by wearing my Trauma Void helmets to protect my noggin. After all, it's the only one I've got!

1 Comments

Lisa Gebbie

05/06/2019 at 08:25:10 PM

Hi - I'm also a nurse and am status post L3 burst fracture, concussion and bilateral fractured pelvis from two horse related injuries. Fortunately for me, I am back in the saddle riding daily at the age of 65 without any aches or pain. I now faithfully ride with a Tauma Void helmet and a Hit Air vest. I do everything I can to be safe while pursuing my life passion for trail riding.. .