25-year-old Paige King from Redding, California was one of the six people that were injured during The Redding Rodeo last May (2022) after a bull jumped a fence, hurting her and several other people.
The incident made national headline news back then but now that family has come out and said that they are crediting that same bull for saving their daughter’s life.
“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,” Paige told The National Desk. “I didn’t know exactly what was happening; it took me a second. And then my boyfriend picked me up, and I was like, oh, there’s a bull there.”
Paige’s father, Erick Mattson, and his wife were working at the rodeo that night and said at the time, they did not realize their daughter was sitting in the front row and got injured by the bull.
“It was a panic moment. I go into looking at everybody else, but when it’s your child, you’re very worried and concerned, and you’re not sure exactly what happened. We didn’t know how badly she was injured,” Erick said.
When Paige was taken to the hospital to receive medical treatment for her injuries, that’s when they realized something much more dangerous was going on inside her body.
“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,” Erick told The National Desk.
Come to find out, Paige had early stages of thyroid cancer!
“I was stunned, honestly, as one of your kids discovered that they might have cancer,” Erick added. “It…gives you chills to know that this is way bigger than the rodeo was this year.”
After finding out that she had cancer, an American rodeo announcer and pro rodeo Hall of Famer, Bob Tallman, told them that if she has cancer that he recommends she go to a treatment facility in Texas where she could receive specialized care.
“We made a phone call, and the doctor answered the phone on a Saturday, and we explained the situation,” Paige said. “You need to come down here. There’s a cancer center in Houston called M.D. Anderson Cancer Center said this is where you need to get treatment. I’m very grateful for him and appreciate what he’s done for us.”
Paige, who works as a house cleaner, noted that as she was working for a client she realized the bull that injured her was owned by that client.
Paige told The National Desk, “I was driving, and I 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.”
Paige took a picture of the bull and shared it with The National Desk who recorded an interview video with her talking about the incident.
“I was able to smile about it and laugh. I was scared at first, but it was fun,” Paige said. “It was a full circle moment, and I’ll cherish it forever.”
Since finding out about Paige’s cancer, she and her family have taken many long back-and-forths from California to Texas for her cancer treatment.
Her family is asking and hoping the Northstate community can help her with travel expenses as she continues to fight for her life. If you would like to donate, please visit her GoFundMe page.