3-year-old girl dies in horse accident; her organs have been donated to help save other children

Submitted photo 3-year-old Tayzli Hale, who lived near Logan, Utah, died Sept. 27, a day after a horse-riding accident near her home. Her organs have been donated and a Gofundme campaign has been started. As of Monday evening it had raised nearly $30,000.

Submitted photo
3-year-old Tayzli Hale, who lived near Logan, Utah, died Sept. 27, a day after a horse-riding accident near her home. Her organs have been donated and a Gofundme campaign has been started. As of Monday evening it had raised nearly $30,000.

By Amy Macavinta, Herald Journal

PETERSBORO, Utah — AJ and Whitney Hale live high up on the hill in this close-knit northern Utah community near Logan where pink ribbons flutter in the breeze on fence posts, mailboxes and porch rails, a gentle reminder of a tiny girl who won the hearts of everyone who knew her.

Tayzli Hale, by all appearances a 3-year-old ray of sunshine, died at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City on Sept. 27, the day after a horse accident near her home, leaving the entire Petersboro community at a loss.

“She loved everyone and she could make anyone smile,” Whitney said Friday. “She loved everything pink and sparkly and princess.”

Her parents readily admit she got everything she ever wanted, because between her little smile and her big blue eyes, they just couldn’t tell her no.

She was a little girl who was always running and dancing to the next place, and from the time she could open the front door, she was always running off looking for friends.

While she was everything that little girls are made of and her dad describes her as a diva, she also loved all things fast, cheering her brothers through rodeo and soccer games and watching football with her dad.

And she loved her animals.

Everywhere she went, Maverick — an 11-year-old graying black Lab — was always right beside her.

Her horse, Dude, joined the family earlier this summer. He is a gentle horse and exhibited a great deal of patience in a video of the little girl leading him around the front yard from the end of his lead rope.

Dude quickly became Tayzli’s new best friend, and last week, she couldn’t wait to get home from preschool to ride her horse.

They went riding that day, with Tayzli seated in a buddy saddle behind her aunt. While they were riding that day, they encountered a car, and Dude became nervous and started running, Whitney said.

The little girl fell from her horse and suffered a severe brain injury that eventually led to her death.

Maverick laid beside her in the road and never left her side while they waited for emergency responders to arrive.

A medical helicopter was dispatched to her home and she was rushed to Primary Children’s Hospital.

The community rallied around the Hales from the onset, and at some point during the next day as she was encouraged to be strong and stay tough, someone came up with the phrase “Tay Tay Tough,” words that completely embody everything that this tiny girl was, her parents say.

Tayzli had no fear, and whenever she was hurt, they say she was quick to jump up and carry on with a kiss — and 10 Band-Aids.

“Now we have got to be as tough as Tay was,” Whitney said.

The Hales were presented with the option to donate their daughter’s organs, and they initially wanted some time to talk about it. They spent a brief time in prayer but were never really able to have that conversation again before the doctors returned.

However, even without speaking, they were both in agreement, and within 24 hours, Tayzli’s heart was matched with a child who needed it.

“I asked the doctors to warn the parents that their child would be waking up with extra sass and spitfire,” Whitney said.

It will be several weeks before they know how many children will benefit from her organs, but even in their loss, their only wish is to lessen the hardship faced by other parents.

“Knowing all of those families get to keep their babies means so much to us,” Whitney said.

Tayzli was laid to rest in Beaver Dam, and through it all, the community has been right there beside the Hales in so many ways. There were always visitors at the hospital. They did laundry, kept the home clean, helped with the animals, stocked the pantry and kept the fridge full of meals.

Memories of Tayzli — frequently called Tay or Tay Tay — were shared on a Facebook page in the days following her death.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen Tay without a huge grin on her face. She was everyone’s best friend and little buddy and radiated a light of pure love,” one woman wrote.

“Her enormous smile has always lit up the room from the time she was a baby. Her giggle, pure sweet happiness. So much sass and fire in the tiniest package,” said another.

Then there are the fundraisers.

Whitney’s brother Connor Larsen of Smithfield, Utah, created a GoFundMe account that had raised nearly $30,000 as of Monday evening from more than 500 donors. The online fundraiser can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/52sutq-the-hale-family.

While the GoFundMe campaign is trending and growing, there are many other ways people can help to support the family as new fundraiser events continue to be announced.

Friends and family have come together selling everything from facial products and eyelash services to hair bows, pink bracelets, and Tay Tay Tough window decals. Another individual is organizing a rifle raffle to be drawn on Oct. 23.

Fundraising Options

Following are just a few of the fundraiser events held on behalf of the Hale family.

• GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/52sutq-the-hale-family

• America First Credit Union, Account number 9097593

• Now thru October 11: Pink for Tay. Visit ADORNit and purchase anything pink or pink-toned and 25 percent of proceeds will be donated to the Hales family. 1309 N. Main, Suite 100, Logan, Utah.

• October 13: Dwell Real Estate is holding a benefit dinner and raffle with entertainment for children, from 4 p.m. until dark. 850 North 200 West, Logan.