PARALYMPIAN equestrian Nicole Kullen, who contracted meningococcal meningitis when she was just 16 years old, has died.
Nicole placed both Silver and Bronze at the 2007 World Para-Dressage Championships and fourth in Freestyle at the 2008 Beijing Olympics was also a member of the 2010 Kentucky FEI World Equestrian Games Team. She passed away on Monday, August 6.
Despite losing both legs and kidneys as a result of contracting the disease 22 years ago, Nicole never let the condition get the better of her, and was adamant she would continue to try and live her life to the fullest.
Her mother, and carer, Margaret Kullen said while Nicole was a fighter, the last two years of her life had taken a toll.
“The last two years were very much a struggle, but she was determined not to let it get the better of her,” Margaret said.
And while Nicole put on a brave face to the world, she suffered chronic pain.
Margaret said in the past two years, Nicole had been told many times by the doctors she wouldn’t make it through the night, but still fought on.
“Two years ago she came out of hospital to say her last goodbyes,” she said.
She also changed her dialysis treatment, which sadly affected her quality of life; in her last two years Nicole only got outside to see her horses perhaps five times.
“Her physical capabilities just didn’t allow for it,” she said.
Margaret said she will remain at the Rock Forrest property she shared with Nicole, and will continue to care for Nicole’s 25 horses, which were the love her her life.
“I will stay here, it’s hard at the moment, especially with the drought and trying to feed all her horses,” she said.
Kate Jones, a friend of Nicole’s, set up a Go Fund Me page to assist with the cost of Nicole’s funeral and the cost of Nicole’s beloved horse stud which has huge running costs made worse by the drought.
Ms Jones says there is no pasture to feed Nicole’s horses and water, which is scarce, is being carted in for the animals.
Donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/nicole-kullen-nikshar-stud-legacy-2we8byc.
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