Family and friends of 20-year-old Pratt County bull rider Brody Ross believe in answered prayer. For good reason.
Six months ago Ross was seriously injured in a one-car accident not far from his Byers home northwest of Pratt. After months in a coma, family and friends report that Ross is on the mend at his family home near Atlanta, Ga.
Ross sustained a traumatic brain injury, multiple skull fractures, a broken back (in two places) and a broken shoulder in the accident which occurred in the early morning hours after midnight Saturday, August 17, 2019.
He spent 49 days in intensive care and was hospitalized for four months and three days.
Ross’s friends have been able to track his recovery progress through caringbridge.org website where his brother, Cole Ross, has posted Brody’s progress updates since the accident.
"Known as Cowboy Brody, he was following his dream of being a bull rider out west and working with cattle," Cole said in a journal entry.
Ross’s mother also wrote a journal entry to his Pratt friends.
"I wanted to take a minute and talk about the WONDERFUL family God has provided Brody with in Kansas. As a mother it is so hard to have your child live 15+ hours away. But God truly blessed Brody by putting some amazing people in his life. We have seen their love for Brody and it’s been such a blessing to us all," she wrote.
Ross was well known on the regional rodeo circuit as Cowboy Brody and, while living in Pratt County, he worked at Pratt Livestock, bringing cattle up to the indoor arena for sale.
Cole Devlin, Brody’s boyhood friend from Georgia, worked alongside Ross at Pratt Livestock and continues his employment there.
"We grew up together in Georgia and traveled first to Montana where Brody met Jordan Turner and they became a couple," Devlin said.
By April 2019, the friends were sharing quarters in Byers, following the bull-riding circuit while both Brody and Devlin also held jobs at Pratt Livestock.
They were all together the night of the accident when Ross’s car went off the road and struck a telephone pole.
"Brody had the most serious injuries," Devlin said. "Jordon, who was driving, was also hurt. She had a skull fracture, brain bleed and broken collarbone."
Devlin was not hurt.
Ross and Turner were taken by ambulance to Pratt Regional Medical Center for initial treatment and then transferred by ambulance to Hillside Medical Center, where they were treated before Ross was transferred to Georgia for continued medical care.
Turner flew to Georgia with Ross by medical transport and remains there with him and his family.
Rodeo champ J.R. Stratford of Byers is also counted among Ross’s Kansas friends, both on and off rodeo grounds.
"He’s outstanding," Stratford said. "Good vibes. Do anything for anybody. One of the best dudes you could come across."
After being hospitalized for a total of 125 days, Ross was released in time to be home with his family to celebrate Christmas 2019 and that week he also started outpatient rehabilitation with Shepherd Pathways.
"GOD IS GOOD!!!," Devlin wrote in a December 2019 journal entry. "Brody is so excited to be home and to get to see his dog, Dally."
On February 10, Cole reported that Ross was continuing to improve daily.
"He is getting a variety of therapies which include speech, occupational, physical, recreational, and music just to name a few. We feel so blessed he has all these therapies available for him," Devlin said. "He continues to improve every day. He is walking with a walker and does well with it. He still struggles with his balance and his vision, and this makes it harder for him to walk on his own."
Continued prayers are still being requested for Ross for an issue concerning his vision and also for concerns about throat scarring and balance, Devlin said.
Devlin has established a Go Fund Me account for Ross to help with medical expenses.
To date, Ross’s Go Fund Me account is nearing $25,000, bringing it to almost half of the $50,000 goal. The account remains open for donations.