As part of an ongoing series looking into the experiences of athletes who have sustained brain trauma, Brain Trauma Foundation sat down with Wyatt Huxford, a rodeo team roper. Following a car accident, Wyatt suffered a coma and was told he had a year to live. With support from family and friends, he has beat the odds, pushed through surgeries and therapies, and is now regaining strength with the goal of getting back to roping.
Note: Brain Trauma Foundation does not endorse any opinions or medical claims from a Spotlight Athlete, and was not involved in medical care or decisions.
READ WYATT'S STORY, IN HIS OWN WORDS:
What do you love most about roping?
I love that it has taught me sportsmanship and that we did it as a family.
Tell us about the day of your car accident and resulting diagnosis.
In 2011 I was at a College rodeo in Texas. Some friends and I were messing around and rolled a truck. I was ejected and flew 50'. The doctors told my family that I had a broken pelvis, lacerated spleen, dislocated elbow but the worst was the Traumatic Brain Injury. It was called a diffused axonal injury. They gave me a year to live. They said I would never wake up from my coma and that an infection would spread throughout my body and it would shut down.
Before the accident, did you have much awareness about traumatic brain injuries?
We were aware of them. We had a couple of friends get into horse accidents that resulted in brain injuries.
What had your recovery process involved?
It has involved a lot of therapy and a lot of surgeries.
How are you feeling today?
I am feeling very fortunate that I have made it as far as I have. As for my body I feel pretty good, with all of the therapy that I have been doing I have more muscle built up that I did before.
What is your hope for the future?
I hope to be back roping and going to school to further my education.
What is Hammer Time?
It is a clothing company that me, my sister, and my dad started. We started it to help out with some expenses in my recovery process and to spread the word about TBIs.
Tell us about Hammer Time's commitment to TBI research.
We are hoping that we will be able to sell more stuff so that we can donate more money to help out with the research on these terrible injuries. We know it is not much, but as we have found on this journey that every little bit helps out in some way and anything to help out with trying to know more about the injury the better.
Visit hammertimeapparel.com to learn more about Wyatt and Hammer Time. $1 from every purchase goes towards TBI research.