Almost exactly eight weeks to the day when her Chevy Tahoe collided head-on with another vehicle on Texas 114 on Aug. 5, Bambi Trotter is just beginning to re-learn the everyday tasks she did at home.
Suffering injuries to her brain and spinal cord as well as a broken pelvis, broken leg and broken foot, the Bridlewood kindergarten teacher has undergone four surgeries since that Monday, Aug. 5, when she and her son, Camden, were in the accident east of Rhome less than a mile into Denton County.
Camden, now 22 months old, suffered minor injuries as his mother began her lengthy road to recovery in ICU at John Peter Smith Hospital. She transferred to ICU at Baylor Hospital where she underwent the surgeries and then to acute care. At the end of September, she moved into transitional apartment-style housing at a Centre for Neuro Skills in Irving.
Her husband, Richi, a well-known coach/teacher at Byron Nelson High School in Trophy Club, says his wife is relearning life skills at the center such as cooking, washing dishes, etc. – skills she did daily at home with her husband and son. They hope, by the end of the year when she can begin to put weight on her pelvis and legs, she’ll be able to begin walking again.
But whatever the future brings, the key for both of them has been to take it hour by hour and then day by day, he said.
“She understands how close she was to not making it,” her husband Richi said in a telephone interview.
The couple visit every evening when he returns from work and he brings their son to see his mother on weekends. On a recent visit, mother and son sat side-by-side on a couch, chatting for the first time in months.
Day by day, life is beginning to look more normal though, Richi says, “You can sit and talk with her and you almost forget she’s had a brain injury,” Richi said. “We’re extremely blessed in how fast she has improved. … She’s getting better and better every day.”
Though the family still faces challenges ahead and things occasionally get overwhelming, Richi said the support of family, friends and perfect strangers has been more than he could ever imagine.
“I’ve said all along I wish we could trade places so she could see the amount of support she has,” he said. “People are really amazing. … We are so grateful for everything.”
A family fall festival and silent auction is set for 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at Bridlewood Elementary in Flower Mound to support the Trotter family.
The festival at 4901 Remington Park will feature a silent auction and raffle, a “Prayers to Heaven” balloon release, a “Silly String” booth, a rock wall for the youngsters, bounce houses, a cupcake walk, face painting, balloon artists, food, music and more. Attendees also can write a note of encouragement to the Trotter family.
The planning committee is also requesting former students bring any pictures they have with Bambi Trotter. The photos will be given to her at a later date.
More than 220 items have been donated so far, ranging from signed sports memorabilia to jewelry, trips and more.
“It’s been so amazing and uplifting in how people can be so generous and giving for someone. I’m in awe of their support,” said Beth Currey, a family friend and one of the organizers of the event. “People have truly opened their hearts and said, ‘What can I give’ and ‘What more can I give.’”
Currey’s son had Bambi Trotter as a kindergarten teacher last year.
Reggi Trotter, twin brother of Bambi Trotter’s husband, Richi Trotter, says the outpouring of support is humbling.
“How humbling it is there’re volumes of people who don’t know anyone involved who have wanted to give the family support,” he said. “It gives you so much hope. It lifts your spirit.”
Reggi added he was also thankful for the people who have organized the fundraiser, offering their time and efforts to put everything together.
The community support has been a “testament to the good people they know in the community,”
Among the many donated items are:
*1 week stay at an Orange Beach, Florida condo
*1 hour flight with a flight instructor
*Lots of jewelry including three Pandora bracelets and items from Grayson Jewelers, Kendra Scott and Lia Sophia
*Case of wines from California
*A basket of red wines donated from neighbors
*Autographed guitar from the Zac Brown band
*Hair salon services
*Free assessment and a month of tutoring from Mathnasium
*Skin care products
*Golfing at Champion Circle and Bridlewood
*A week stay at Pine Cove, an overnight youth camp
*A wrapped canvas from the Thomas Kincaid Gallery titled “Bambi’s First Year.”
*Tickets to Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks games
*Wine tasting tours
*A 1-hour use of a birthday party game truck
*Three signed baseballs from Texas Rangers including Colby Lewis, Alex Rios and Shine Soo Choo
*Three pairs of Uggs
*An Ipad mini
*An X-Box 1
*A Titlest Tour Golf bag with Zack Johnson’s name embroidered on it as well as his signature
*A 2007 Masters flag autographed by Zack Johnson
*Baseball cap signed by PGA golfer Ricky Fowler
*Ryder Cup baseball cap signed by the 2008 Ryder Cup USA team
*Print of the British Open signed by the artist and the winner of the 97 Open, Justin Leonard.
*Signed football by Drew Brees
*Signed football by Justin Tucker, the 2012 Super Bowl kicker for the Baltimore Ravens
*Signed Baseball bat by David Murphy of the Cleveland Indians (CHECK).
*Framed Dallas Cowboy jersey and picture signed by Dez Bryant
*Signed baseball and batting glove from Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks
To find out more information or to donate an auction item, contact Beth Currey at [email protected] Volunteers are also needed for the event. Anyone interested should contact Juli Gesino at [email protected]
Sponsors for the event include: Wise Advantage — Kris Wise, Giggly Kids, Raising Cane’s, Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation, DFW Home Properties – Odette Beasley, Chateau Realty – Greg and Tracy Bielamowicz, Core Chiropractic at Las Colinas – Dr. Jorge Nieto, Lake Cities Medical Center/Highland Family Medical Center, FSS Group and Dagley Insurance.