Man Crushed in Near Fatal Horse Accident Learns to Walk, Run and Ride Again
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“He's my little brother. I couldn't stand to see him like that, and I would have done anything and Sarah would have too, to at least get him out of that excruciating pain he was in.” says Greg Cheshier.
Greg and his brother Roger grew up in El Dorado, Arkansas, where Roger developed a love of horses. He trained and rode in competitions and rodeos.
In June of 2010, his daughter's horse was acting strange, Roger hopped on to see why.
Roger remembers, “When I got on the horse, I just grabbed the saddle horn, throw myself up on the horse when my daughter got off and I did not let the stirrups down and that one decision liked to cost me my life.”
The horse reared up and then collapsed on top of Roger, his wife Sarah remembers the moment. “I just remember hearing him holler real loud and I turned around and he was on the ground. He was hollering and it was bad.”
Roger describes what happened, “My legs is spread out like this and this 1200-pound horse comes down on my right leg. Didn't break my leg, didn't break my back, but it broke me in half.”
Roger was air lifted to a trauma center in Little Rock, Arkansas, where surgeons bolted his pelvis back together.
His brother Greg remembers the hopelessness of the situation, "His pelvis was broke like an open break, they showed an x-ray of where they had him bolted together – I thought it would have to be an absolutely miracle of God. Humanly speaking I see no way he can ever walk again.”
Roger was paralyzed. After his surgery he became septic, and his hope for recovery dwindled.
Greg tears up as he says, “He had been at that hospital so long and got – thinking he's going to get better and then he had the sepsis and that went backward, he says – he could barely talk, and he said, 'I ain't got no fight left in me.' And I just whispered to him and I said, 'I'll be your fight for you, Roger.' That's the only time in my life I've heard him borderline realize that he's in bad shape and he can't go anymore.”
His fight for survival continued as the whole town prayed for Roger.
His wife Sarah remembers, “A lot of our friends drove up that night cause they knew how bad it was and just, you know, supported us and-and we really felt the prayers. Everyone was concerned. He had visitors all the time. He had people – different churches praying I can't imagine going through what we went through without the Lord.”
Amazingly he recovered from sepsis and was eventually released to rehab. His physical therapist Clint Rhodes remembers Roger's ambition to walk again. “My goal for Roger was just to get him back doing what he was doing, riding horses.” Said Clint. “He wanted to run a 5K, that was my goal. Walking – just something we take for granted as simple as walking, we had to get him strong so he could get those things done.”
Unfortunately after months of therapy, Roger still couldn't walk. On his last session, he had an idea.
Roger remembers that moment and states, “I can live with God changing the whole direction of my life, but I can't live with regrets of not trying.
"I said, 'I'm going to go on and buy me a bicycle,' and uh he said, 'A bicycle? Man, you're paralyzed.' I said, 'I got that. I – really I do.' I said, 'But I’m going to put the goal so stupid far out there ain't nobody but a great God, and one little white man that wants to walk worse than anybody on planet Earth is going to at least try to turn this thing around 180 degrees.'"
His Physical Therapist Clint remembers as well, “Roger is a very determined person, doesn’t know the word 'No' or 'I can't.' if you asked him to do one, he'd do 10. He's just that type of guy. So I had no doubt that he was going to achieve all his goals.”
Greg said, “Roger provided what we as humans can provide. He provided the will and the want-to, and God did the rest.”
Through excruciating work and dedicated prayer Roger was able to walk again, ride a bike and eventually run. Still, there was one more hurdle he had to overcome.
Roger states, "I told my wife, I said, 'I think I gotta get back on a horse.' She said, 'Why?' I said, 'I have got to get back to enjoying life, full of life and doing some things.' For my mental state I had to get back and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Oh, my gosh.”
Roger rekindled his love for riding horses. His health improved so much that on the two year anniversary of the accident he ran his first 5k. Everyone attributes his healing to a faithful god that answers prayers.
“Prayer is the biggest factor in all of this because it helps everybody. Not only Roger, but it helps the people that are waiting on him, the nurses, the doctors, everybody and it's all about prayer and-and allowing God to work in your life,” says Sarah.
Greg states, “There were hundreds of people praying for my brother. He wouldn't be here today without prayer, I firmly believe that.”
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