Boy 'Fighting for His Life' After Horseback Riding Accident on Cruise Excursion: 'It's a Nightmare,' Says Mom

Stefan Keryan “ended up getting dragged by the horse for almost two miles,” according to the eight-year-old boy's mother

What started off as a dream vacation turned into a parent's worst nightmare when an 8-year-old boy got seriously injured during a horseback riding accident in Belize. Now, his family says he's "fighting for his life."

During a stop in Belize on their first-ever cruise, the Keryan family decided to go on an excursion to a monkey sanctuary, which included horseback riding, mom Heidi told ABC station KMGH-TV.

While Stefan was on the horse, it "got spooked and began running," according to a GoFundMe set up by the family to cover medical costs.

"He ended up getting dragged by the horse for almost two miles on gravel pavement on his back and on his head," his mom shared during an interview with CBS station KCNC-TV.

"My older daughter and I were already back and saw him being dragged and eventually were able to catch up with him," she added. "Somebody got in a car and was able to stop the horse."

Stefan Keryan
Stefan Keryan. GoFundMe

As a result, the family said Stefan suffered third degree burns on his back, arms and leg, and also required surgery to replace part of his scalp.

"He's in the hospital fighting for his life," she told KCNC-TV. "They've stabilized him, but they can't give him the care that he needs, especially given the severity of his injuries."

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In order to get him back home, the family told KMGH-TV they would need access to a medical aircraft, which could cost tens of thousands of dollars.

"All I care about is him living," she added. "I just, I want to get him home."

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Although the family started a GoFundMe to cover costs of the medical flight — and raised over $64,000 as of Monday — in the end, a local news report ended up connecting them with someone who could help.

After hearing the family's story on KCNC-TV, Geno Haggan, the owner of a Colorado-based medevac service, was immediately moved to help the family — for free.

"It gives me a lot of pride to be able to do this for somebody," the owner of Peak Medevac International told the outlet.

In a post on their Facebook page, the transportation service said they are "happy we could help get this little guy get back home to Denver."

Late Sunday night, Setfan made it back home and was then transported to a children's hospital in Aurora, according to KCNC-TV.

There, his family says Stefan "will receive the specialized care he needs for a full recovery."

"Thank you all for your prayers and generous contributions," a family member wrote in a GoFundMe update over the weekend. "We are blessed to have all of you in our life."

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