Six weeks ago, Paul Cargile was working at home on a Bobcat tractor when he had an accident that severed his spinal cord and left him paralyzed.
A week after the accident, his friend and boss Danny Byington, owner of B&O Fina & Towing, said he realized that Cargile would be swamped with medical bills, so he began planning a fundraiser for Sunday to help offset the costs of his medical care.
After four weeks in an intensive care unit and surgery to realign two vertebrae that wound up side by side, Cargile is stable and about to move to a rehabilitation facility in Dallas, Byington said.
“He’s getting a little bit of movement back in his arms, so we just keep hoping and praying that he’ll get more and more as time goes on,” he said. “But he’ll never walk again.”
From 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the North Texas Fairgrounds, residents are invited to attend the benefit for Cargile, Byington said. Entry costs $20 for adults, and children younger than 12 can get in free.
There will be a barbecue dinner included, raffle items, a live auction starting at 6 p.m. and a live band. For the kids, there will be a bounce house and face painting.
In coordinating the event, Byington said he’s received an outpouring of support from local businesses and community members who have donated thousands of dollars worth of prizes. Highlights include a fire pit, set of golf clubs, deer feeders, tires and gift cards, Byington said.
“I’ve just been very blessed with a lot of nice friends and they’ve all come through — it’s been very overwhelming,” he said. “The community has stepped up big time.”
Cargile, 53, has worked at B&O since 1998 and is “a genius,” Byington said, who is “probably the best mechanic in this town.” The two have already discussed Cargile’s future at the shop, and Cargile is excited to find an apprentice to teach once he can maneuver around the shop in his wheelchair, Byington said.
“He’s like a brother to me because he’s worked for me longer than he’s worked for anybody in his life, and we went to lunch every day,” he said. “So, obviously, it’s devastating to me, as well as his family. ... We’re just there for Paul, doing everything we can for him.”
JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.