Circle the Wagons: Kevin Willey
- August 25, 2018
- Savanna Simmons
I’ve been sharing quite a few of these “Circle the Wagons” posts this summer, and it saddens me to do so, however, I believe the cowboy community is the strongest and finest support that could ever exist.
Our long-time friend Kevin Willey, a one-eyed wonder with more talent in his pinky finger than most have in their whole bodies (cliché but oh, so true), is having trouble with his “good” eye. In June, he suffered a slight stroke, they believe, minimizing eyesight and making it awfully hard for Kevin to work and function as he normally is able. So, I implore to cowboy community to circle around our friend and lift him in prayer, send a few dollars his way, if you can spare, or consider coming to their event this month.
His wife Lori Willey posted on Facebook: On June 24, 2018, Kevin was driving home after spending his first week back at his old mountain job. He had been fighting a bad headache since the day before. While driving on the old highway between Ranchester and Sheridan, everything went dark. He was able to pull off to the side of the road and call me. I was visiting some friends in Dayton and was able to speed to reach him. A friend of ours helped me get him from the pickup he was driving to my car, and I took off towards the emergency room. I did not stop and wait for an ambulance to get to us, because to me he was demonstrating all the signs of having a stroke.
As we got to the emergency room he was immediately evaluated then sent for a CT scan. After some blood work and a MRI, the doctor decided he needed a trip to Billings. Kevin was sent via ambulance to Billings. We spent that Sunday night through Tuesday afternoon getting even more testing done including another MRI and a spinal tap.
Between all of the almost 10 medical professionals that have been consulted, there seems to be a lot of opinions of what actually happened, but the opinions are divided.
Here is what we do know: he currently cannot see out of his “good” eye (he lost the function from the other one over 20 years ago). There is a lot of thought that he should get some function back, but we will not know to what degree for at least four to six months.
We did not say anything before because we did not have any clear answers. Unfortunately, we still do not. He currently cannot see to work or enjoy his regular pursuits.
Other than that, he is in good spirits and is trying to remain positive that his sight will return. He loves phone calls or being taken out of the house for coffee or just to run errands, but gets a little overwhelmed and frustrated when people visit. His friends, Kelli Verhelst and Shy Wulff Brug have graciously offered to plan a benefit to aid with medical and other expenses. His friend Allen Lake has purchased one of Kevin’s amazing knives and will be doing a raffle.
We appreciate all of the support thus far and cannot truly express how much it fills our hearts. We might be only doing a doggie paddle, but we are still swimming.
While his eyesight has returned slightly, Kevin described it as being in a box and only having a pin-prick of light visible, or being in a tunnel with light at the end and never being able to reach the light.
To learn more about Kevin, please read here.
About Savanna Simmons
I'm Savanna Simmons and I live north of Lusk, Wyoming, on the Four Three Ranch with my husband Boe and our sons, Brindle and Roan. I grew up evolving my horsemanship with clinicians like Ray Hunt, Joe Wolter, and Jack Brainard, but not within a...