British Student Left Paralysed After Bison Attack In US

A British student on a gap year who was travelling in America has been left paralysed with a severe leg injury after she was attacked by a bison during a road trip.

19-year-old Mia Dean was attacked by the bison in Custer State Park, South Dakota
19-year-old Mia Dean was attacked by the bison in Custer State Park, South Dakota

19-year-old Mia Dean is recovering in hospital after the bison "suddenly charged at her" on the second day of a month-long road trip in the United States, according to her parents on a Gofundme page they set up for their daughter.


Mia was in South Dakota walking on a trail through Custer State Park with a friend and their dog when the bison "gorged her in the left thigh with his horn", throwing the student around 10 feet into the air.



The 19-year-old was then "trapped, unable to move her bleeding leg, with the bison huffing directly over her, his feet by her head for some time," the page said.

After some time Mia's friend managed to get the animal to move away from her.


Custer State Park, South Dakota, where the incident took place
Custer State Park, South Dakota, where the incident took place

Mia's parents said it was a "miracle" that their daughter survived, but explained she suffered from a severed femoral artery and severe damage to both her tibial and peroneal nerves.


The page said: "As the artery and muscle damage is healing, Mia is still suffering from severe nerve pain, numbness and hypersensitivity, paralysis, and limited mobility below the knee, being unable to walk without walking aids."


For Mia to have a chance of regaining full motion of her foot, her family believes she needs a complex operation that cannot be carried out by staff at the Rapid City Hospital where she is currently receiving treatment.


With the student being unable to fly to another hospital due to her condition, her family has said a specialist will have to come to her.

The Gofundme page added: "Mia is English and whilst her travel insurance has paid so far for the femoral artery bypass they are refusing to pay for even the initial examination by the specialist of her nerve injury.


"Mayo Clinic, a world-class hospital in the peripheral nerve field (a very niche field), has accepted MIa as a referral from Rapid City Hospital."

Mia's family are trying to raise £140,000 to cover the initial assessments from a specialist - which costs approximately $8,000, as well as potential surgery, flights home, food, accommodation, and other expenses.

Mia was due to start at Edinburgh University in September after taking a year off from studying to work and save up enough money for her trip to the United States. More than £23,200 had been raised on the Gofundme page at the time of writing


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