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Exclusive_ Horse rider 'a minute from

Janina Kletke is back home after months of treatment following the freak accident. Courtesy: Supplied

She answered a call to help rescue horses from a devastating bushfire – but nearly lost her own life in a freak accident.

Janina Kletke, 35, has been told she was left just one minute from death after suffering a brain injury when she was kicked by a horse she was trying to save.

Now the professional rider is finally home after almost months of medical treatment and hopes to soon return to horseback.

She was left in an induced coma fighting for her life after the accident in March.
Ms Kletke, from Garfield, in Gippsland, Victoria, told she was determined to get back in the saddle after discussing it with her doctors.

“They have no other choice,” she said, laughing.

“I’m trying to get back on, mainly for me to have feel and see what’s working.

We met the neurosurgeon, he said it’s looking really good.”
“After I woke I couldn’t even wiggle my fingers.”

The Bunyip State Park bushfires burned through more than 10,000 hectares and were sparked by lightning strikes at the beginning of March this year.

Around 40 active blazes were burning, with some joining together to create even more devastating fires.

Multiple emergency warnings were issued, with schools and roads closed.
Helicopters and aircraft attempted to control the fire from the sky.

More than a dozen buildings were burned to the ground with some people losing everything.

Some locals criticised the State Government over a lack of action including hazard control burning.

The champion dressage rider and trainer, who is from Germany but has lived in Australia for ten years, managed to get her own four horses to safety.

But she answered a cry for help from another horse owner in Garfield North.

After being escorted to the property by Country Fire Authority crews, something happened as she was loading the fourth horse and she was found unconscious.

It wasn’t exactly known what went wrong at the time, but Ms Kletke believes she was kicked.
“The last horse we had to chase and catch and I loaded it myself. I think it would have already been agitated,” she said.
“It kicked me.”

Mrs Kletke, whose partner Ash Seing is Australian, was rushed to Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital in a bad way.

“I had two brain surgeries due to me bursting the main blood vessel on the right side of my head,” she said.

“The surgeon told Ash that I had about one minute left to live, so they wheeled me straight into surgery as soon as they got the CT results.

“It puts things into perspective that’s for sure,”
After the surgery, which saw her long blonde hair shaved off, she was put in an induced coma in intensive care,.

It was a long road to recovery, but after weeks in rehab she is finally home,

Ms Kletke, who has won the Australian national dressage championships, remains on drugs for a blood clot in her brain and needs twice weekly rehabilitation as her left side remains weak.

“The problem with a blood clot in the brain is obviously there’s bleeding. What they want to do is stop the bleeding and dissolve the blood clot,” she said.

Friends and strangers have raised thousands towards her recovery as well to help keep her farm running.

She said she now plans to hold an event to thank the County Fire Authority too.
“It’s amazing to see people I don’t know from a bar of soap come together,” she said.