Woman Gored In Yellowstone Gets Engaged In Hospital Bed; Fiancé Says Bison Launched Her 'Airborne'

The 46-year-old woman who suffered severe injuries from a bison goring in Yellowstone last Saturday got engaged in her hospital bed in Phoenix. Her fiancé said the woman was launched into the air and did a couple of backflips before hitting the ground.

Jimmy Orr

July 20, 20233 min read

Amber Harris and Chris Whitehill
Amber Harris and Chris Whitehill (Cowboy State Daily Staff)

As the old saying goes, “get gored by a bison, why not get engaged?”

Perhaps it’s not a well-known saying, but that’s what Amber Harris did Tuesday.

The 46-year-old woman who was gored by a bison in Yellowstone National Park on Saturday got engaged while recovering from the incident in a Phoenix hospital.

Harris announced on her personal Facebook page that her now-fiancé Chris Whitehill had been planning a marriage proposal during the trip, but that plan was derailed when the bison flipped her into the air.

So he proposed in the hospital.

“My love got down on one knee beside my hospital bed last night and formally asked me to be his wife. Without any hesitation I said yes!” she said.

She also shared just how badly she was injured: seven spine fractures, bilateral collapsed lungs and “bruising all over.”

“Glory to God all my vital organs look good,” she said.

Details Of Attack

Amber, her daughter, and her fiancé had been planning the trip to Yellowstone for about a year.

On the day of the incident, they had just picked up some coffee and were walking to Yellowstone Lake.

That’s where they came upon a herd of about 20 elk. They waited until the herd passed and restarted their walk.

The trio spotted two bison near the lake.

Lurking Bison

One was on the pathway and the other a ways off.

“We stopped and looked at the massive beast, about 50 yards away on the trail, hidden at first in the shadows of the trees,” she said.

“We watched him drop and roll in the dirt, like a dog would. He got up on his feet and started walking then running towards us,” Harris said.

One Or Two Backflips

Whitehill told a TV station in Phoenix on Wednesday that the bison struck her "head-on" and she became “airborne.”

“I think she did one or two backflips in the air,” he said. “And I was screaming and yelling trying to distract the bison.”

She was carried out on a stretcher to an ambulance and then life-flighted to a hospital in Idaho.


“Please pray for my healing. God is faithful and merciful and I know He protected me in the attack. He will heal me,” she said.

Whitehill has set up a GoFundMe account for help with expenses.

Medical bills have started to pile up. Anything helps at this point,” he said.

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Jimmy Orr can be reached at jimmy@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Jimmy Orr

Executive Editor

A third-generation Wyomingite, Jimmy Orr is the executive editor and co-founder of Cowboy State Daily.