For more than 10 days Roger Guinn’s family has camped out in a corner of the waiting area outside the intensive care unit at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.
“We’ve been here every day since the accident on Sunday, July 15,” said Debra Guinn, Roger’s wife of 23 years.
What seemed at first like a minor roping accident at the family’s home in Bridgeport has turned into a grueling ordeal.
Of course, Roger’s toughness made it difficult to understand at first how serious his injuries were.
“Every Sunday morning me and the girls go to church (at Grace Fellowship in Paradise). We go early in the morning to work at the nursery. Roger comes later.”
Roger always starts his Sundays with a ride on his horse. That morning was no different. Debra saw him riding in the pasture on the east side of the house.
“About 30 minutes later he came walking in the back door,” Debra said. “I could see in his face that he was in excruciating pain. He walked into the back of the house and collapsed on the bed. He didn’t even want me to call 911. He just wanted me to help stand him up.”
But she did call 911. Roger was rushed to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. The doctors at the emergency room found internal injuries and had him flown to JPS.
The accident had broken nine of his 12 ribs, broken his collarbone, injured his head and collapsed one of his lungs. He’s had to undergo an emergency tracheotomy and be kept alive by a breathing machine while being heavily sedated during his entire time so far at the hospital.
Debra still doesn’t know completely what happened. She thinks he was pulling on the steer roping dummy when something spooked the horse, causing it to hurl Roger into the corner of a metal fence, pummeling the right side of his body with tremendous force.
“Where he hit was over 100 yards from the house,” Debra said. “He had to go through at least two gates and walk up several stairs to get into the house.”
But Roger is a tough guy. Debra recalls when he was kicked in the head by a steer several years ago, he still went to work the next day. A chemical engineer, Roger works for a pharmaceutical company in the Metroplex.
“He’d rather be a cowboy than a chemist, but he has to support his family somehow,” said Donna Martin, Roger’s sister-in-law.
The accident added to a family already dealing with a traumatic injury. It occurred just a week after his youngest daughter, Leah, tore her ACL at a basketball camp. Leah is a junior at Bridgeport High School. She’s going to miss volleyball this fall, but she hopes to recover in time to finish district play on the basketball team.
Still, Debra maintains her faith through everything.
“I’ve seen God’s hand in all this,” Debra said. “I would usually have been gone 15 minutes earlier and not been there when he came in injured. God has also placed people to be here with me during all this.
“The community has given us such an outpouring of prayers for us and support. I am so blessed to live in this community. There is no way I can ever pay them back for what they have done for us.”
She said the doctor expects Roger to make a full recovery. And she can’t wait to hear him tell the story of what happened.
“He tells the best stories,” Debra said. “He makes them very colorful.”
HOW TO HELP
- The Bridgeport High School volleyball team is holding a car wash 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, at James Wood Motors in Bridgeport. Funds from the car wash benefit the volleyball team, but they will be selling a “Guinn Special” meal that includes hot dog, chips and drink to benefit the Guinn family. There will also be a water slide and snow cones for sale.
- A benefit fund has been established at The Community Bank. Donations can be sent to The Guinn Family Fund care of the Community Bank, P.O. Box 1478, Bridgeport TX 76246.