It’s not every day a person is struck by an escaped rodeo bull. However, it’s even more unheard of when that same attacking bull receives credit for saving a person’s life. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what happened back in May when an escaped bull jumped into the crowd at the Redding Rodeo in California. As a result, one 25-year-old woman was sent to the hospital.
According to KRCR, an ABC affiliate, Paige King of Redding, CA was one of six people injured when a bull escaped the rodeo ring at the Redding Rodeo. Recalling the scary confrontation with the bull, she said, “I was sitting there with my boyfriend, and we were watching the run, and then all of a sudden, I looked to my left to glance at something, and I looked back over, and the bull was right there coming at me, so I had no initial reaction until it happened.”
Per her statement, King didn’t even really realize the bull had struck her. That was until her boyfriend picked her up after the fact. After her ordeal with the bull, the woman’s family took her to the hospital.
While there, doctors realized after doing a CT, young Paige King was battling an entirely different—and extremely harmful—assailant.
King’s father, Erick Mattson, said of the hospital visit, “We brought her to the emergency room and did a CT scan of her, and the doctor noticed a lump on her neck, secondary to any internal injuries from the incident…what could be cancer at that point.”
Per the outlet, doctors soon discovered King was in the early stage of thyroid cancer.
King Later Reunited With the Rodeo Bull That ‘Saved’ Her Life
After doctors found that King was suffering from thyroid cancer, Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer Bob Tallman reached out. He encouraged her and her family to seek treatment at a facility in Texas where they offer specialized care.
Soon after Tallman contacted King’s family, they put in a call to the TX treatment center. King shared, “We made a phone call, and the doctor answered the phone on a Saturday, and we explained the situation. She said, ‘You need to come down here. There’s a cancer center in Houston called M.D. Anderson Cancer Center [and] said ‘This is where you need to get treatment.'”
Of Tallman who pointed King in the right direction, she continued, “I’m very grateful for him and appreciate what he’s done for us.”
However, that’s not the end of her story. After recovering from her encounter with the escaped rodeo bull, King headed back to work as a house cleaner. On her way to one of her client’s homes, King soon realized as she was driving in, that the massive animal that mauled her at the rodeo lived on that very property.
“I was driving, and looked to my left, and all of a sudden, I saw this bull, and he looked identical to the bull from that night, and I looked at my coworker and said there’s no way.”
In the end, it turned out to be the same bull from the rodeo.
Encountering the bull afterward, she said, “I was able to smile about it and laugh.”