Benefits planned for local bull rider

Local residents are coming together to support a Monticello native who was injured in a bull riding accident in Fort Worth, Texas, on Jan. 25.

Griffin Strode, 20, is now starting down the long road to recovery from a traumatic brain injury—but making such rapid progress that even his doctors are amazed.

His mom, Michele Strode, calls it "nothing short of a miracle."

His grandparents, Mahomet residents Ralph and Anita Specht, and aunt and uncle Allyssa and Andy Harpst, are among the network of supporters cheering him on toward recovery and lending support to the family.

Strode is a student in the agriculture program at Southern Arkansas University, where he's also a member of the rodeo team. He and some friends were in Texas for the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo late last month when they decided to do some bull riding at the popular local night spot Billy Bob's Texas.

Later Strode's friends told his parents that the bull he was riding went up on its hind legs and then came down hard on its front legs, at which point Strode lost his grip, his face made contact with the bull's head and he was knocked unconscious.

Bull riding accidents are particularly dangerous because bulls often turn on an injured rider. But according to witnesses, the bull "just turned around, looked at him and calmly walked out of the arena," Michele Strode said.

His family—Michele, dad Steve and brothers Greyson and Grant—were at home in Monticello when they got a phone call from one of Strode's friends, telling them about the accident.

Calls from his doctors followed that first anxious message. A CT scan revealed the extent of his injuries: he had fractured his skull, the orbits of both his eyes and his zygomatic arch (or cheekbones). He had also damaged his sinuses and there was swelling and bleeding in his brain. In addition, he had a pulmonary contusion from a blow to the chest.

He was in a drug-induced coma, his doctor said, warning that his condition was very serious.

"He told us we just needed to get there fast," his mother said.

His parents flew to Texas, arriving at Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth the next day. "He wasn't doing well at that point," Michele Strode said.

But Strode made rapid progress. Within four days, he was allowed to wake from sedation and was soon displaying his familiar, determined personality. Doctors were amazed by the strides he was making, his mother said.

She'd been aware of the risks associated with competitive bull riding. Strode began competing at county fairs as a teenager—a fact he kept from his family, at first.

"He hid it from us for awhile," Michele Strode said, knowing that his parents would think it was too dangerous. For awhile, the subject caused considerable friction at home.

But since he was determined to compete, the Strodes wanted to be sure that he was safe. They insisted he wear a helmet—something that's not required in collegiate competition—and had one custom-made for him last summer.

That helmet probably saved his life, doctors say.

Now, he's awake, alert and going through the intensive therapy used to return victims of traumatic brain injuries to their daily lives. He's a patient at Texas Rehabilitation Hospital of Fort Worth, looking forward to his return to Monticello, where he'll continue outpatient therapy in Springfield.

His mom said that he's still working on issues like balance—his skull fracture went through his left ear canal, making him a little unsteady on his feet. But doctors say he should make a full recovery.

It was a bad injury, but it could've been worse. Doctors told his parents that many bull riding accidents lead to paralysis due to neck injuries. But Michele Strode believes that her son's history as a high-school wrestler taught him how to protect his neck at the moment of impact.

"He had an angel on his shoulder," she said. "It shows the power of prayer."

The family 's goal is for him to return to college next fall. He won't be able to compete as a bull rider again, but his rodeo coach made him an offer: return to the team next year as an assistant coach. It's something for Strode to look forward to.

The support from the rodeo community has been incredible, Michele Strode said. Teammates have made the four-hour drive to visit him in the hospital and the friends who were with him on the night of the accident stayed by his side for days.

Within a day of the accident his aunt Allyssa Harpst established a Facebook page, "Kickin' Up Prayers for Griff Strode," that now has nearly 2,000 "likes." She wanted a way to keep friends and family up-to-date on his condition, but has been amazed by the response from across the country.

"We're seeing people from all over the area, all over the United States, offering support," she said.

In the wake of accidents like Strode's, "people want to help," she said. "But they don't always know what they can do."

Strode's brothers, both students in Monticello schools, are staying with the Harpsts while their parents are in Texas. Their aunt said that they've been encouraged by the good news, as well as from the overwhelming support being offered to the family by neighbors in Mahomet and Monticello.

A benefit fund for the family has been established at First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust. Donations can also be made online through links available on the Facebook page. The family also plans to raffle off a bow donated by PSE Archery this month, with tickets available at Hunter's Haven in Champaign, Pard's Western Shop in Urbana and Blue Ridge Backwoods in Monticello.

That support will be crucial as Strode's recovery continues, Allyssa Harpst said.

"The journey isn't over the day he gets home," she said.

Michele Strode said that she's gotten encouraging messages from "rodeo moms" across the country as word of the accident spread on Facebook.

Rodeo competitors are "such a tight-knit community," she said. "I can understand why he loves it so much."
 

Categories (2):News, People

Comments

The Mahomet Citizen embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. we reserve the right to remove any comment at its discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments

michellewood wrote on October 04, 2013 at 12:10 am

Bull riding is already a very dangerous profession you never know when you will loose your control and your bull will hit you.I wish Griffin Strode will recover soon.

musical Broadway tickets

aswad211 wrote on March 31, 2016 at 3:03 am

Thank you for the information and clarification about the identical houses. While I was reading the post I thought they might be haunted, but its nothing of that sort, thanks to your explanation stock alerts 

yutiyi wrote on April 04, 2016 at 11:04 am

I think the work that they are doing here is so extraordinary. You will have the ability to point of interest such an awesome sum from the work here. click here for more

aswad211 wrote on May 07, 2016 at 8:05 am

Cool you write, the information is very good and interesting, I'll give you a link to my site.  best website designers

umarkhan wrote on April 15, 2016 at 7:04 am

Thank you for the details and description about the similar homes. While I was studying the publish I believed they might be haunted click to find out more, but its nothing of that type, thanks to your description inventory signals  

Stellaosbern wrote on January 31, 2016 at 10:01 pm

Well, this is indeed a great decision. Often the lives of bull riders are not given much values and I appreciate the group for coming up with such a decision. The injury is said to be a major one and the treatment will sure cost a huge amount, which his family may not be able to afford. san jose house cleaning

yutiyi wrote on April 06, 2016 at 8:04 am

I may need to thank you for the exercises you had made for encompassing this shocking content. https://twitter.com/mencantaapp/status/716876674642485248

parihot wrote on April 25, 2016 at 2:04 pm
Profile Picture

 Such sites are important because they provide a large dose of useful information ...Key West To Miami Tours

yutiyi wrote on May 02, 2016 at 3:05 am

I was unquestionably pursuing down. A commitment of thankfulness is all together for such post and please keep it up. http://edprotocolprogram.com/ed-reverser-review

Shahrukh12 wrote on May 30, 2016 at 7:05 am

Social press has taken a central role in how individuals information on the web today, and the alerts sent by these websites are fed into look for search engines in real-time. No modern company should neglect public press, simply because of plenty of your period of time individuals invest on Facebook or myspace or Twitter posts. However, no one public website is the ultimate goal of SEO Freelance SEO Services

yutiyi wrote 1 hour 53 min ago

Might I be able to please get the name of that textual style ? I needed to utilize it in my undertaking now. Much appreciated all that much ! more info here

MaddoxEmery wrote on February 20, 2016 at 8:02 pm

Thanks a lot for the purpose of rendering up to date update versions about the challenge, I just await read through further. Cheap Club Flyer

rozirose124 wrote on March 03, 2016 at 12:03 pm

twitter marketing It's superior, however , check out material at the street address. how to get retweets on twitter

rozirose124 wrote on March 03, 2016 at 3:03 pm

You ought to basically fantastic not to mention solid advice, which means notice: Save The Marriage System

yutiyi wrote on May 01, 2016 at 4:05 am

Pretty awesome post. I recently uncovered your web site and expected to say that I have truly thoroughly enjoyed examining your website sections.garcinia cambogia su internet

rozirose124 wrote on March 14, 2016 at 12:03 pm

You ought to basically fantastic not to mention solid advice, which means notice: Ways To Get Your Ex Back

rozirose124 wrote on March 17, 2016 at 11:03 am

Make the most of mainly premium substances - you will find him or her for: the appropriate size

rozirose124 wrote on March 20, 2016 at 1:03 pm

Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have. Survive In Bed

sara768 wrote on March 22, 2016 at 10:03 am

Clearly, his health is not improving, but without that CT scan that revealed the extent of his injuries, no one in his community would had helped him. If after this accident he will have hormonal problems, the best estrogen blocker can help on fixing this problem. We must take care of our health at any cost.

yutiyi wrote on April 08, 2016 at 2:04 pm

I will burrow it and a little while later prescribe to my partners. I am sure they will be advantage by this site. http://www.luxtime.su/chanel-bags

yutiyi wrote on May 13, 2016 at 3:05 pm

I have examined a few the articles on your site now, and I really like your style. You shake and please keep up the fruitful work. vertical workouts

ha91070 wrote on March 24, 2016 at 9:03 pm

I really enjoyed reading this post, big fan. Keep up the good work andplease tell me when can you publish more articles or where can I read more on the subject? buy twitter followers review | can you buy youtube views

sirking79 wrote on March 25, 2016 at 11:03 am

Absolutely fantastic posting! Lots of useful information and inspiration, both of which we all need!Relay appreciate your work.

meilleur fer a repasser vapeur

BlackMen wrote on June 16, 2016 at 2:06 am
Profile Picture

But since he was determined to compete, the Strodes wanted to be sure that he was safe. cccam server

rozirose124 wrote on March 25, 2016 at 5:03 pm

I came onto your blog while focusing just slightly submits. Nice strategy for next, I will be bookmarking at once seize your complete rises... How To Give A Hand Job

thomasqq wrote on March 26, 2016 at 1:03 am

You might be a single extremely trustworthy website article writer. After all, generally, people reveal concerns as well as the details they feature just isn't since sensible. An individual alternatively; whatever you point out pencils out there. The advice regarding the usage of as an example has been the most effective. This web site is perfect! Jual tinta Printer

johnmicheal wrote on March 26, 2016 at 4:03 am

These things are very important, good think so - I think so too... permanent make-up lidstrich

aswad211 wrote on March 27, 2016 at 3:03 am

If you are afflicted with bouts with anxiety, you can feel safe that your aspire to use herbal plants for panic treatment would not mean that you will be required to drive around inside an old lorry with like beads hanging with the mirror. Herbal plants for panic have vanished mainstream with thanks, click on over

aswad211 wrote on March 28, 2016 at 10:03 am

If you are afflicted with bouts with anxiety, you can feel safe that your aspire to use herbal plants for panic treatment would not mean that you will be required to drive around inside an old lorry with like beads hanging with the mirror. Herbal plants for panic have vanished mainstream with thanks, abs after 40 workout

generi wrote on March 29, 2016 at 2:03 am

Wonderful web site. My spouse and i liked looking at your current content. This can be a classic wonderful go through to me. We've added the idea along with We are awaiting looking at brand-new content. Carry on the excellent operate!. rosayunda, kingstheologicalcollege and last andreasvox

aswad211 wrote on March 30, 2016 at 5:03 am

Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work. JavedChaudhry

yutiyi wrote on March 31, 2016 at 3:03 am

It was luxuriously shaped and contained sound, useful counsel. You brought up a few things that I will recollect for a broad time allocation to come. Quelle Est La Meilleure Tablette 2015 - 2016

donaldkk wrote on April 02, 2016 at 8:04 am

Even so the conspicuous aspect is undoubtedly its certainly developed zero larceny element. In the case, someone steals this situation computer system later stop break-ins aspect aids to hunt down notebook. Ashy Bines Raw

yutiyi wrote on April 03, 2016 at 6:04 am

Grateful yet again for every one of the unnoticeable parts. This online journal is awesome. more followers on instagram | instagram hacks

rozirose124 wrote on April 07, 2016 at 3:04 am

You ought to basically fantastic not to mention solid advice, which means notice: How to Turn a Guy On

zander wrote on April 08, 2016 at 8:04 pm
Profile Picture

Genuinely bewildering post !There are a lot of areas and articles out there on this point, of course you have extended another side of the subject. poster printing nyc

zander wrote on April 09, 2016 at 8:04 pm
Profile Picture

It was exquisitely formed and contained sound, suitable urging. our site is out and out not the same as others.same day business cards nyc

zander wrote on April 11, 2016 at 10:04 pm
Profile Picture

This article is an engaging abundance of useful information that is fascinating and elegantly composed. I laud your diligent work on this and thank you for this data. You have what it takes to get consideration.The Best strategy for binary option trading 

zander wrote on April 12, 2016 at 10:04 pm
Profile Picture

I am really enjoying reading your well written articles. It looks like you spend a lot of effort and time on your blog. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work. scarpe eleganti uomo

aswad211 wrote on April 13, 2016 at 8:04 am

If you are afflicted with bouts with anxiety, you can feel safe that your aspire to use herbal plants for panic treatment would not mean that you will be required to drive around inside an old lorry with like beads hanging with the mirror. Herbal plants for panic have vanished mainstream with thanks, cccam server

johnmicheal wrote on April 20, 2016 at 8:04 am

These websites are really needed, you can learn a lot. how to lose inner thigh fat

Shahrukh12 wrote on May 06, 2016 at 2:05 am

It was a bad damage, but it could've been more intense. Physicians informed his mother and father that many fluff driving injuries cause to paralysis due to throat injuries. But Michele Strode considers that her son's record as a high-school wrestler trained him how to secure his throat at this time of effect http://mumbai-freelancer.com/.

ha91070 wrote on May 15, 2016 at 2:05 pm

Yes i am totally agreed with this article and i just want say that this article is very nice and very informative article.I will make sure to be reading your blog more. You made a good point but I can't help but wonder, what about the other side? !!!!!!THANKS!!!!!! The Magic of Making Up

Shahrukh12 wrote on June 01, 2016 at 12:06 am

 You will discover creating web page much easier if you really understand your viewers specifications. Don't ignore research in figuring out what material you need to develop directory.

sirking79 wrote on June 08, 2016 at 10:06 am

I haven’t any word to appreciate this post.....Really i am impressed from this post....the person who create this post it was a great human..thanks for shared this with us. steroidsnet.com steroid shop

BlackMen wrote on June 10, 2016 at 10:06 am
Profile Picture

Texas, arriving at Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth the next day.atlanta life coach

pioneerseo wrote on June 14, 2016 at 5:06 am

this is a Fat Diminisher System review and fan site. If you are looking for the official website so you can purchase the system directly from Wesley Virgin and qualify for the 60-day money back guarantee and all bonus materials, please click here to be redirected.rebelmouse

ha91070 wrote on June 18, 2016 at 8:06 am

You have a good point here!I totally agree with what you have said!!Thanks for sharing your views...hope more people will read this article!!! Obsession Phrases Review

Events

Today's Events  |  FAQ
Log in to add an event