Two years is a long time for injuries from an accident to stick around, and Hardesty resident Gary Cooper and his wife, Lisa, know this all too well.
On May 1, 2010, only a couple of months after marrying Lisa, Cooper was changing a tire at his tire shop for a trucker who was hauling cattle and was driving on a flat that was almost in shreds. The trucker gave Cooper a tire that the company had given him, and for a tire that was supposed to take 105 pounds of pressure, he put in 65 pounds of pressure, and the tire blew. The tire then shot up past the cattle truck and came back down, and the rim came out of the tire and crushed Cooperâ€™s foot. As the tire blew and came back down, Cooper flew back about the length of two pick up trucks, landing on his head and back. Cooper was then in and out of consciousness for 25 minutes, and his wife had to administer CPR.
Shortly after the accident and going through surgery, Cooper started developing seizures, some days having 12-15 within a day. Cooper and his wife were having a hard time finding medical help, so his wife took on four jobs at once to help pay the financials.
Finally, he was able to receive some assistance on medical bills, and his wife was able to quit two of her jobs, and then eventually was able to get back to working one job. His seizures have always been an issue since the accident, but very recently, his seizures have started up again very badly.
â€śOn the 12th they took him in because he was having grand mal seizures back to back for 30 minutes,â€ť said Lisa. â€śGuymon couldnâ€™t stop it so they airlifted him to OU Medical Center for about a week and a half and they kept him in and out of a coma.â€ť
They want Lisa to start taking her husband to Oklahoma City once a month to see a neurologist now instead of Amarillo like she had been doing the last couple of years.
â€śThings are getting a little bit better with the medical stuff now,â€ť said Lisa, â€śbut itâ€™s just getting him up to Oklahoma City that is going to be hard to do.â€ť
She said her husband cannot work at all, and can walk some, but they are wanting to put him in an electrical wheel chair, and expenses are building up. The Methodist Church went to the Cooper residence and built him a ramp for easier mobility for Cooper getting in and out of his house.
Cooper still has surgeries that need to be done for his foot, but due to the seizures and brain damage, doctors keep saying the surgery is not possible since they canâ€™t stop it.
â€śI really need help getting him to the facility,â€ť said Lisa. â€śRight now they want me to take him once a month to Oklahoma City to check up on him and in September they want a week long study and some scans following that.â€ť
Lisa has done everything in her power the last two years, even working four jobs at once, to be able to afford her husbandâ€™s medical bills, and now for the first time in two years, she is reaching out to the community for support. She said the job she has now has been great about working with her when she has to leave to take care of him, but being gone so much will definitely take a toll.
A medical fund has been set up for Gary Cooper at the Bank of the Panhandle in Guymon for those wishing to help this man and his wife who had just been married a couple of months when a tire accident changed their lives.