Wednesday, March 16, 2011

McKennon Wimberly Benefit

The video is disturbing - McKennon Wimberly is just over five seconds into his bull ride in Anaheim, Calif., when he is jerked forward, the bull's head comes up and the two collide, sending Wimberly's helmet flying.
A couple of jumps later, Wimberly's head is struck again, this time he falls to the side, laying motionless on the arena floor as people rush to help.
His mother, Paula Wimberly, said he was in ICU in California for seven days and remained in the hospital for two-and-a-half weeks.
"During that accident he had severe brain shearing, it's like shaken baby syndrome," his mother explained. "He had a broken jaw in two places, a fractured bone in his sinus cavity and a fractured shoulder."
When he came home, it had to be via air ambulance. Paula said doctors were concerned about pressure in the brain at high altitudes and possible consequences. He stayed at Baylor Rehab in Dallas for two weeks before returning to his home in Cool, just east of Mineral Wells.
"The PBR only pays $20,000," said family friend Luann Hammett. "That barely got that boy off the arena floor."
To help with expenses, there will be a three-day Relief Benefit and Bull Riding Thursday through Saturday, March 24-26, at the Palo Pinto County Livestock Association Arena in Mineral Wells.
The schedule includes:
8 6-10 p.m. Thursday, March 24, at the Expo Building: $10 barbecue dinner, live and silent auction, Calcutta.
* 7 p.m. Friday, March 25: Derby Bull Riding.
* 10 a.m. Saturday, March 26: Futurity Bulls
* 2 p.m. Saturday, March 26: Mutton busting. Sign ups will be 12:30-1:45 p.m., $25 entry fee, 50 rider limit, 60-pound weight limit.
* 7 p.m. Saturday, March 26: Classic Bull Riding. Box seat tickets, $16 each; general admission, $10 each.
In addition, donations can be made to McKennon Wimberly Benefit Fund, c/o First Financial Bank, College Park, P.O. Box 1299, Weatherford, TX 76086 or any First Financial branch.
Silent auction donations can be sent to McKennon Wimberly Benefit Fund, 606 Southland Drive, Weatherford, TX 76086.
Contact Hammett at 817-694-9791 or Wayne, 817-458-2207, e-mail or call 817-598-2700 for additional information.
A golf tournament will also be held Saturday morning at Canyon West. Contact Dave Samsel, 817-832-2131.
A number of sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Hammett or Wayne for additional information.
Paula Wimberly said the outpouring of help and support has been unbelievable.
"I would like for people to know that it's amazing," she said. "It has just been unbelievable, the people we don't know who want to help."
Today, McKennon Wimberly is still undergoing outpatient physical therapy.
"As far as relearning anything, he didn't have to," said Paula. "It's mainly to do with motor skills. He just doesn't move as fast as normal."
She said he feeds livestock, fools with his bulls and rides his horse.
"He gets better and better."
As far as riding bulls again, she said he wants to.
"I would be very content if he decided not to."
But that is not likely.