Grand Prix dressage rider Silva Martin, who sustained a serious head injury in a fall on March 5, showed some significant signs of recovery today, according to her husband, eventer Boyd Martin.
“She’s doing lots better,” said Boyd, who made the six-hour drive from the Red Hills CIC in Tallahassee, Fla., to Silva’s bedside in Delray Beach, Fla., on the day of the accident and then returned in time to compete the six horses he has entered. “This morning I talked to the doctor, who said that her condition had stayed the same, but for sure during the day she’s come more to life. She’s responding, and I was lucky enough between my rides in the three-star to talk to her on speakerphone. It was wonderful hearing her voice.
“She thinks it’s 1988 for some reason, but she knows who I am!” Boyd added. “You can sort of make out her half-mumbling. But 36 hours ago when I was with her, she was pretty close to lifeless.”
Silva is getting new brain scans every 12 hours, and while the bleeding hasn’t stopped yet, Boyd said the important thing to note is that it hasn’t worsened.
“As long as that’s the case, they think there’s no need for surgery,” he said. “The part of her brain that’s bleeding is a tough one to get to, because it’s sort of right in the center and would be quite complicated.”
Boyd’s mother, Toy Martin, and sister, Brook Martin, who live in Australia, were in Florida visiting at the time of Silva’s accident. They’ve been keeping her company in the hospital, along with her two best friends, eventer Kate Hicks and veterinarian Mary Griffin.
“The doctor says, ‘Squeeze my hand twice,’ and she’ll do that. He says, ‘Is your name Silva Martin?’ And she’ll say yes,” Boyd said. “Other things aren’t quite correct, but I think if she keeps making this progress she’ll be good as gold in no time.”