June 13, 2013

Harmony boy to get new leg after lawnmower amputation

By Rachel Ohm rohm@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

HARMONY — A 4-year-old boy whose right leg was amputated above the knee following a lawnmower accident is expected to be fitted for a prosthetic device next week, a family friend said Thursday.

Community members are also organizing fundraisers for the boy, Jaydon Talbot, and his family to help pay for medical expenses.

“He is recuperating much faster than expected, although we’re not sure when he can come home.
Right now our focus is on keeping his spirits going,” said Louann Burgess, a family friend.

Jaydon’s aunt Teresa Gourley said the boy is doing well. He’s out of intensive care, but still a patient at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. He is also eating on his own, she said. On Thursday, a hospital spokesman said Jaydon was in fair condition.

Jaydon fell out of a wagon attached to the back of a lawnmower his father, Stacy, was driving about 7:30 p.m. June 5. His leg got caught in the blade of the mower, said Dale Lancaster, chief deputy of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department.

Burgess said Jaydon has had lots of visitors at the hospital, including the LifeFlight helicopter crew that originally brought him there and an Iraq war veteran who lost his leg.

“When I see his bike out in the yard I want to cry, but I know I have to stay strong,” said Burgess. “He is really one of a kind — a helpful, sweet kid and a sweetheart.”

As Jaydon recovers, members of the community are coming together to help pay for his medical and transitional expenses.

Burgess, 48, said she has been like an aunt or grandmother to Jaydon since he was 6 months old and was devastated when his family called to tell her about the accident.

“It was very hard for me. I ran down to the hospital when I heard,” said Burgess. 

She said she has visited him about every other day in Bangor and is organizing a July 20 benefit dinner and auction at the Harmony Elementary School, where Jaydon is a pre-kindergarten student.

She also said that her son, Dustin Woodard, 28, and some friends are building a wheelchair ramp at the family’s home.

Woodard, who works at Lovell’s Guilford Hardware in Guilford, said the store is donating the wood for the ramp and that some of his friends have offered to help build it.

“As soon as I told them about it everyone said absolutely, they would do whatever they can to help,” he said.

Coach Pitch, the age-eight-and-under baseball team that Jaydon belongs to, is also organizing a fundraiser, said coach Angie Knapp, 38, of Harmony.

In the meantime, they’ve made hearts with the letter J to wear on their uniforms, she said.

“We miss him and we know he’s wishing us luck. Hopefully he will be out here with us again soon,” said Knapp.

Gourley said the accident has been hard on the family and that in addition to medical expenses, they have had accrued a lot of expenses traveling from Harmony to Bangor, about 50 miles one way.

“We are really appreciative of everything the community is doing,” she said.

Rachel Ohm —  612-2368
rohm@mainetoday.com

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