Tammy Hebert, the 35-year-old pregnant Round Valley resident who fell headfirst off her horse June 27, died Sunday morning.
Medical personnel air-lifted her to the Maricopa County Regional Medical Center after the accident. There, Hebert spent nearly a month lying in a coma.
She and the 5-month-old baby that was still in her womb, died around 9 a.m. Sunday due to complications from the serious injuries Hebert sustained in the accident.
"It was devastating news," Rose LesPerance, one of Hebert's sisters, said Monday morning. "We were there Saturday night until 9:30. We all went home expecting to come back and talk to her the next day ... It was not expected."
Hebert was horseback riding on Outlaw Trail behind Payson's Sonic Drive-In with one of her daughters, 15-year-old Natalie Trella, and Trella's friend when the accident occurred.
The friend's horse spooked, so Hebert chased it down and leaned over to grab its reins in an attempt to save the child. When she did so, she fell headfirst onto the down-sloping ground.
While the baby was not injured in the accident and had been doing well, doctors were unable to save it when the severe damage to Hebert's aorta ---- the main artery that supplies blood from the heart to the rest of the body -- worsened. Doctors had repaired the injury when Hebert was first admitted, and thought she was stable.
In fact, Hebert was removed from the Intensive Care Unit sometime last week, but returned when she began experiencing respiratory difficulties. Doctors were planning her rehabilitation and gave no indication to Hebert's family that severe complications would arise before she died Sunday.
During her time in the medical center, Hebert was constantly surrounded by loved ones, including her longtime boyfriend Randy Bailey, 37.
"I wish she had been working at the time," he said racked with emotion. "I wish a lot of things now, but I can't change life."
Hebert's former stepdaughter, Christy Jolly, 24, said Hebert meant the world to her.
"We used to always bake together and make recipes,"she said wiping her face wet with tears. "I remember at Christmas time, she used to work two jobs just to make enough money for all us kids."
Bailey said, "She's going to heaven. Just not right now. She's still here with us just seeing how we're getting along. She'll move on when she knows we're all comfortable again."
LesPerance added, "Now she's out of hurt. She's out of pain. She's going to enjoy her animals from heaven and she's going to watch us from above."
Hebert's family is currently struggling to pay a $6,000 funeral bill for which they had to take out a loan. They have set up an account for donations at SafeQ Credit Union. The account number is 8891550.
The funeral will be held at Messinger Payson Funeral Home, 302 W. Aero Drive, at 11 a.m. Friday, July 25.
Original information released to the Roundup by emergency response teams referred to Tammy Hebert as Tammy Trella. Her legal last name is Hebert.