Bronc rider recovering from bleed

The leading WSRRA bronc rider had internal bleeding after being bucked off in Eagle Butte, South Dakota last Friday. He came out of the ICU Wednesday. Photo by Karleen Baer

Brenda Baer’s fervent prayers uttered while covering the 500 miles between her and her son were answered. Joel Baer spent a week in the ICU after sustaining internal injuries during a ranch bronc match at Eagle Butte, South Dakota but vastly improved while there.

He was rushed to Rapid City ICU, where he was treated and remained for a week. His internal bleeding slowed Tuesday, and his weakness from the amount of blood lost vastly diminished, Brenda said.

Joel isn’t quite sure what happened, something regarding too short of a rein and a horn hitting under his ribs, though doctors indicate that most of the trauma was to his back.

“He needs to stay away from anything that could bring blunt trauma,” Brenda said. “His kidney is extremely messed up, and his spleen is as well; he’s vulnerable to trauma. Those two are extremely vital, and any injury could be life threatening.”

The Idaho cowboy is currently leading the Western States Ranch Rodeo Association ranch bronc standings, though he’ll need to stay away from horses, saddle or bronc, for the next three to six months, per the doctor’s orders.

Joel won the long round of the Eagle Butte Match Bronc Ride and lasted seven seconds before his buck-off and injury. He pitched over the front of his bronc.

His young age of 22 has lent to his quick healing, doctors have told Brenda, and she’s grateful the injury wasn’t worse.

“The doctor said he is recovering way faster than they expected due to the extreme trauma he sustained,” Brenda said. “They attribute that to the fact that he is a very healthy young man. I would like to add to that the thousands of prayers sent on his behalf.”

He’ll need to continue to heal from home and protect his vulnerable organs.

“He’s going home with mama for now,” she said.