Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityWoman struck by bull at Redding Rodeo credits it with saving her life after finding cancer | KRCR
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Woman struck by bull at Redding Rodeo credits it with saving her life after finding cancer

Paige King captures a photo with the rodeo bull that struck her on rodeo night.{ }{p}{/p}
Paige King captures a photo with the rodeo bull that struck her on rodeo night.

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The Redding Rodeo made the national headlines in May when a runaway rodeo bull jumped into the crowd and out of the arena, hurting several people. But now a new story emerges as a Redding family is crediting that same bull for saving their daughter's life on that rodeo night.

25-year-old Paige King of Redding was one of the six people struck and injured by the bull. " 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," King said. "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."

Sent to the hospital, the ordeal frightened King's family, including her father, Erick Mattson. Mattson and his wife worked the rodeo for the Redding Rodeo that night. While they were engaged in the activities and the incident of the bull jumping the gate into the stands, they immediately responded to protect the fans, ensuring they were safe and the bull got captured.

But amid all the commotion, they did not realize that their daughter was sitting in the front row when the bull jumped over, jumping on top of her and injuring her.

"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," Mattson said.

But in a miraculous turn of events, treatment of her injuries revealed King had an underlying health crisis lingering inside her.

"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," Mattson explained.

It would be discovered that King was in the early stages of thyroid cancer.

"I was stunned, honestly, as one of your kids discovered that they might have cancer. It... gives you chills to know that this is way bigger than the rodeo was this year,"

After cancer came to light, an American rodeo announcer heard her story. Pro rodeo Hall of Famer, Bob Tallman, told the family if it is cancer, send her to a treatment facility in Texas where she could get specialized care.

"We made a phone call, and the doctor answered the phone on a Saturday, and we explained the situation. She 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," King said.

After discovering her health crisis, Paige, who works as a house cleaner, was on her way to a client's home. She was unaware that her client was the owner of the bull that struck her that night.

"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."

King captured the incredible moment on camera of the animal that ultimately saved her life.

"I was able to smile about it and laugh. I was scared at first, but it was fun," King said. "It was a full circle moment, and I'll cherish it forever."

It wasn't her first rodeo, and thanks to the bull, it won't be her last.

King's family has a long journey traveling back and forth from California to Texas for her cancer treatment. Their family is hoping and asking the Northstate community for help with travel expenses as they continue to fight for their daughter's life.

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