Bill Hillmann’s Healthcare Odyssey

Bill Hillmann, a long-time international runner of the Running of the Bulls, recently wrote an article in the online magazine VICE giving us an account of his “healthcare odyssey” on three continents after being gored in San Fermin 2017. His adventure begins on the cobblestones of Pamplona, Navarra where he is gored by a Jose Escolar bravo bull and rushed to the Navarra Hospital for a short stay and intervention on his buttock. Bill continued on his trip to Panama where his wife is currently working as a volunteer, which is where the complications began and Bill had no choice but to seek treatment through the Panamanian health system, leaving him dumbfounded, frustrated and seriously considering returning to the United States to get a proper diagnosis and cure for his injury. Bill tells us about his experience in all three of the hospitals, and healthcare systems within the space of 6 months – his healthcare odyssey on the road to recovery.

The Dangers of being gored in San Fermin 2017

The Backstage Story

Bill gives us insight on the possible implications of running with the bulls; that of being gored by a 500 kilo bravo bull. Running with the bulls on the San Fermin course is a daring feat and it goes to show that even the best of runners can get injured. Noone is 100% safe on the run and Bill Hillmann’s article gives you the backstage story on what might just happen if you do.

The Dangers of running with the bulls in San Fermin

Poisonous Spears

As Bill mentions the bull’s horns are like “poisonous spears” given that these bulls spend their days grazing free in pastures rubbing their horns against their backside, stabing the ground of the corral and sharpening their horns on countryside trees. Getting gored is a far more complex health issue than one might believe it to be. Getting stitched up, receiving high doses of antibiotics and a lengthy recovery play a part in a gore wound.

Until Next Year

Bill is passionate about running with the bulls, San Fermin, the Navarrian people; their lifestyle and love for Fiesta. Bill, you are a trooper! Wishing you an excellent recovery and until next year in Heart of Pamplona.


Heart of Pamplona & Northern Spain Travel offer San Fermin experiences for those ready to get loose and want the ultimate out of the box SF experience.


The Dangers of being gored in San Fermin Heart of Pamplona