Horse Rescuer Home From Burn Center
Tindell finally home in Newhall after four-month ordeal.
After nearly four months in the Grossman Burn Center in Sherman Oaks, Jim Tindell is finally home.
The caretaker at Heads Up Therapy on Horseback was severely burned when the Buckweed Fire seared through Bouquet Canyon, destroying much of the charity’s property and threatening its horses.
As the flames approached, Tindell sent his wife and children to safety and went back to save the horses. After herding them into a sand exercise area, Tindell ran through a wall of flames, scorching his face and hands.
He was originally scheduled to come home Feb. 8, but doctors at the burn center found infections on his face and stomach and reversed their discharge orders. Despite the loss of two fingers and intense scarring, Tindell’s spirits are high and he’s glad to be home.
“What was the first thing I did when I got home?” he mused. “Hugged my wife.”
He faces a lot of “directed” physical therapy, aimed at helping him do the things he did before the fire, such as dressing and taking care of himself. His commute for therapy will be shorter, as it will be done at Henry Mayo Hospital.
All the horses from the ranch were spared in the fire and another animal thought to be a victim is recovering alongside Tindell – the ranch cat, Tiger Lily, which has undergone its own set of treatments from a local vet and is recuperating at Tindell’s Newhall home.
“All the kids knew her,” Tindell said. “They’ll be happy to hear she’s OK.”
Tindell couldn’t thank the community enough for their support during his difficult recovery.
“They made all the difference in the world,” he said.
A fundraising bowl-a-thon originally scheduled last Saturday had to be cancelled when Santa Clarita Lanes lost power. A new date has not yet been set, but Tindell is looking forward to being there to cheer on the bowlers.