Keya Milaire spent 7 weeks in the hospital last spring. Miranda Fatur Black Press Media

Injured nurse back in the saddle after horse riding accident

Keya Milaire has been recovering from an accident that occurred on May 24.

Last spring, a Langley nurse was in a life changing horseback riding accident, but today she’s back in the saddle.

Keya Milaire spent seven weeks at Vancouver General Hospital after the horse she was exercising at Campbell Valley Park became spooked, reared up and landed on top of her on May 24.

READ MORE: Community rallies behind nurse after horse riding accident

Since then, Milaire has been recovering from cracked ribs, a broken back, and a fractured pelvis.

Today she walks unassisted, works shortened shifts with Fraser Health, does hot yoga, and even rides her own horse again.

“It was difficult and humbling at the same time. I learned a lot about myself, what’s important and what’s not important,” Milaire said of the accident.

But despite reaching milestones throughout the year, the recovery has been notably tough on Milaire, who previously lived a very active lifestyle, and started her career in nursing three years ago.

“When it comes down to it I think it changed my life for the better in a lot of ways. But the recovery has been very hard on me. It’s something that I’m not just going to get better from immediately because I fractured so many areas of my spine,” she explained.

Milaire added that time spent on her feet is shortened as after work, she’s often too tired to even cook dinner.

According to Milaire, her gait has changed drastically because of the way the injury has healed, resulting in a flattened spine in areas where it should be curved.

To improve the injury, Milaire spends anywhere from one to five days in physiotherapy, massage therapy, and at the chiropractor.

“Part of me thinks I’m ahead of schedule, and another part of me is like ‘wow this is going to affect me for years and I don’t think I’ll ever be normal again,’” she added.

A few of Milaire’s post-injury milestones have included backpacking through Thailand, meeting her boyfriend, and getting back on her horse.

The first time Milaire rode again, she said it “felt so good I was crying I was so happy.”

As for her boyfriend, the couple met after Milaire’s story spread across social media.

Milaire had posted that when she was airlifted to the hospital, it was the first time she had rode in a helicopter, and her now-boyfriend – who’s a helicopter pilot – reached out and offered her a second ride.

Two weeks after Milaire arrived home from the hospital, the pair connected, and Milaire has been on two more helicopter rides since the first.

“It’s pretty crazy. He’s been a big help as well and he’s new to my life because of the accident,” she said.

Milaire also credits her mom and close friends for ongoing support and companionship.

“My mom came out to see me every day in the hospital. She worked all day and then came out and would stay with me until midnight to make sure I wasn’t alone. All of my friends have been so supportive, they’d take me out with my walking poles and a pillow to sit on,” she elaborated.

And for now, Milaire continues to focus on recovering, and paying off debts that piled up as a result of being off work.

The biggest lesson she’s learned from the incident is “don’t sweat the little stuff.”

“Life is so much worse when you’re broken so don’t worry if you spilled your coffee, or if there’s traffic. You can still get frustrated but it’s not life or death because there’s so many more important things to be happy for,” Milaire added.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Keya Milaire has begun riding horses again, after a riding injury last year. Miranda Fatur Black Press Media

Just Posted

Langley’s Dallas Smith earns fourth Juno award nomination for Country Album of the Year

The artist previously took home the award for his album Lifted in 2015

Family fundraises for Langley boy with terminal cancer

The fundraiser is aimed at helping pay family bills

Langley School District issues letter to parents addressing coronavirus

District has been advised that the risk to the public, including school-age children, is very low

A $50-million plan is proposed to prepare for rapid transit in Langley City

Described as a ‘bold move’ to to buy land, improve facilities, and make other improvements

Land purchasing drives debt increase in Langley Township

Council remains divided over the loans as this year’s budget talks continue

VIDEO: Kenney wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Surrey massage therapist suspended for reading books on cellphone during treatments

Investigation sparked by patient who was concerned she’d been photographed

‘Very disrespectful’: Headstones at Okanagan cemetery damaged by excavation crew

Headstones at Enderby’s Cliffside Cemetery mistakenly driven over by excavation crew

Despite reports of decline, birds flocking to national parks in Canadian Rockies

Recent studies suggest overall bird population has slid by three billion since 1970

Former UN committee member defends stance on B.C.’s Coastal GasLink pipeline

First Nations LNG Alliance accused UN committee, human rights watchdog of not doing their research

Police release photo of suspect in theft of Indigenous regalia in Vancouver

A person stole nine pieces of Indigenous regalia, five drums, and traditional boots

Opioid crisis to blame for shorter life expectancy in B.C. men, says Stats Can

Opioid crisis held responsible for declining life expectancy

Earthquake on top of highway closure a wake up call for Island’s West Coast

“When someone says, ‘Be prepared for 72 hours,’ that means exactly that: be prepared.”

Most Read