Alone, Broken, Discarded but not Defeated!
One woman’s story of defying all odds of survival and experiencing unconventional success.
We all know life-and-death situations aren't limited to extreme mountaineers, or even to people hiking in the wilderness. They can surprise us in the workplace, at home, or when you visit a store to pick up a few things for a DIY project.
That is exactly what happened to Dr. Dana Price; a successful anesthesiologist. Dana had reached every goal that she had ever set in the medical world as well as the equine arena; where she had raised and showed champion Arabian horses since she was a small child. All seemed perfect in her world, until that fateful day on Nov. 8, 2003. An ordinary weekend trip to a home improvement store to pick up some lumber for the stable, when a pallet of 16ft. lumber fell on her. The results: a broken neck, both legs, ankles, both arms with accompanying massive brain, eye and facial trauma. A Life flight to Baylor hospital in Dallas, the doctors now faced the unsurmountable task of saving her life and putting her back together again.
Fast forward to 2005 after multiple surgeries and physical therapy, Dana began to comprehend the extent of her injuries. She was still learning how to speak when the flood of questions bombarded her. “Will I be able to work again?” “How am I going to pay all my medical bills?” “Will I be able to walk and talk again?“
Dana never saw a penny from the home improvement store, so paying for these bills were now on her shoulders as well as trying to figure out her future. Her friends had given up and went on with their lives; her social safety net was gone.
There she was; alone, broken, and forgotten. “I remember sitting up in bed one day and saying to myself, “You have got to get in gear and get going! You have a lot to do!”.
Dana decided that living near Dallas, with all of her doctors nearby would be the smart thing to do. So she sold her farm in Oklahoma and bought a 40 acre farm in Greenville, Texas and moved her Arabian horses to their new home.
One afternoon while sitting in her wheelchair (with her catheter bag attached) she rolled over to her horses as if to gleen wisdom and insight. She realized that her feelings of being alone, broken and discarded needed to be turned into something positive. The negative vortex of loss and hopelessness just wasn’t going to cripple her anymore! As if in a Disney movie, one of her horses leaned over as if to whisper an idea to her. Create a sancuary for those who are alone, broken and discarded. It was on this day, that the brain child of Stable Companions came to be!
Thanking her Stable Companions (her horses) for the wonderful inspiration, Dana launched her 501c(3) in 2010 and the name “Stable Companions” fit perfectly. On this farm miracles happen. Animals who come to her sanctuary find stability, care, and most of all love and acceptance. Although the nonprofit started out as a horse rescue organization, she does have 12 cats and 7 dogs!
President and Founder of Stable Companions: Dana Price
Dana Price’s determination and incredible human spirit is a gift very few of us have. She has been referred to as the True Dr. Doolittle. Animals who veterinarians say will live only a few weeks, live for years after they come to the farm. Dana has suffered just like they have suffered. The animals can sense this.
Dana (through Stable Companions) also partners with MHMR to help veterans suffering from PTSD and special needs children in her “Barn Buddies” program. She teaches them how to work on a farm and how to care for the animals.
Dana feels that harnessing the healing power of the Human-Animal Bond is a huge component at Stable Companions. Since the dawn of civilization, humans and animals have shared a powerful bond. Through the ages, this bond has been a source of solace and relief for those who suffer from physical or emotional pain. Stable Companions plans to explore the healing and learning power of this relationship as they continue to grow.
In todays world the word “Success” usually refers to how much money you make or a prestigious position. Dana’s definition is simple. “Success is Healing one step at a time.”