Back while attending colllege Carter, the “Cardinal Cowboy“, was riding home from Central Methodist College with three of his college soccer teammates, when his world was flipped upside-down. A drunk driver came across the median on HW 109 not far from Eureka High School and hit the car that the four boys were riding in head on.
Jimmy Barnes, the driver, was in terrible shape and later passed away as a result of the accident. Jimmy Weatherly, the front seat passenger, was coherent but would be scarred with major lacerations on his face. Shaw Soeul, who was sitting in the back right of the car and suffered a nasty laceration across his forehead.
Carter, had been sitting in the back left seat of the car. After the collision Carter was talking to the paramedics. A large laceration across his forehead and the side of his head and a broken jaw were apparent injuries as he continued to communicate coherently. Then, things took a dramatic turn for the worse.
The head trauma that Carter had suffered caused him to go into convulsions while he started to have seizures at the scene. With that, the drunk driver, who had a small cut in his cheek, was already in the ambulance and was pulled from the ambulance to make room for Carter. Had Carter not made this first trip to the Emergency Room, he would not have survived.
Carter was administered a drug called Dilantin, that will stop the seizures from occurring but can often induce a coma. Where Carter had survived the initial trauma and seizures, he now did proceed to go into a coma. At this point the doctors gave him less than 50/50 odds to survive while a ventilator breathed for him keeping him alive.
But these doctors did not know Carter. At approximately 6 days into the coma, Carter managed to free his hands from the restraints (something a patient is not supposed to be able to do). He pulled the ventilation tube from his own throat, and came out of the coma. Carter was to be with us for a while more.
Now, the post-coma recovery. It would be months of doctors appointments, testing, rehabilitation and hopeful return to at least a functional life where Carter would hopefully be able to take care of himself. Carter was instructed to start seeing a therapist with his parents to help him to deal with the traumatic frontal lobe, executive skills brain damage that had occurred.
Here is where the fundamental turn in the recovery occurred. The highly regarded Doctor of Psychology began to explain to Carter and his parents that Carter may not be able to fully attain where he was before the accident. Carter will need special care and may not ever again be able to take complete care of himself.
With that, Carter’s dad, Braxton, who is well educated himself, politely left with Carter, his mother Judy and refused to ever speak to that doctor again. Carter’s dad’s perspective on life, much less for a traumatized 19 year old kid, was that, yes.. where Carter had many hurdles to overcome, and yes, he may never be able to attain the heights he was previously capable of using the same path…
But what would be much worse than the accident and trauma, would be if Carter actually BELIEVED that he would never be able to again reach his goals and dreams. Carter’s parents had programmed him for 19 years that he could reach any goal he set his mind to. And they were not going to let some “Doctor” deprogram him to believe he could not reach his goals and dreams because he had gone through this terrible situation.
The Mind is a very Powerful thing and it can overcome whatever someone allows it to do. It knows not anything more than what you program it with and to even begin to program it with negativity or thoughts of doubt, failure or mediocrity was not going to be allowed. It took some 5 years for Carter to get back to where he was before the accident, but he never gave up his dreams.
Carters dream of being a pro baseball player may have been put aside (Carter had won the MVP of his SLABA Pre-College Baseball Team as a Sr in High School, the same Award that Ryan Howard and David Freese would also win a few years later) but Carter now was on a bigger better path that was going to greater affect and help many more people in a much more dramatic way. Now Carter was armed with a compelling story that he uses to inspire himself and anyone he comes in contact with.
Since surviving this traumatic accident, Carter, the Cardinal Cowboy, has had incredible support from many people, most importantly, his family. Where this was a very difficult experience that took years to heal, the Cowboy felt he had to share his story. He was well aware of the pain that he went through, and it may be easier for him to deal with to never talk about it again, but that would benefit no one.
Carter has made hundreds of appearances and given dozens of speeches, sharing his excitement for life, beating the odds and proving the doctors wrong. By now the Cardinal Cowboyhas been part of a list of Charitable organizations. Please help support those organizations as they promote the same.
The groups and organizations that the Cardinal Cowboy currently has the good fortune to support include each of the following organizations. Carter has appeared at, given speeches for, and supported each of these organizations and many more. He has appeared and spoken to groups from ages 5 up to senior citizens at long term care facilities.
- Little Patriots Embraced
- Make A Wish Foundation
- Minds Eye
- Society for American Baseball Research
- Fellowship Of Christian Athletes
- Ranken Jordan Pediatric Hospital
- Cardinal Glennon Hospital
- Ronald McDonald House
- Youth Lifeline America
- St. Louis Children’s Hospital
- Avery Budde Foundation (donations go to St. Louis Children’s Hospital)
- Kiwanis International
- Boy’s and Girl’s Club Of America
- Optimist International
- Willow’s Way
- O’Charlies Cure Cancer
- Toys For Tots
- St. Charles School District
- Life Care Center
- Animal Protective Association of MO
… And a list of other groups and organizations throughout the Midwest.
Please help support the Cardinal Cowboy in his efforts to help all people, young and old, as we all work to make our planet a better place… Giddy-Up!