McKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – Kenny Bollier always dreamed about playing football with the Texas Longhorns, but one decision changed that dream.
“In a blink of an eye my life changed,” says Bollier “I loved to hunt, fish and play football.” Kenny, 27, is a quadriplegic confined to a wheel chair.
In December of 2002 he was a senior in high and was out drinking with friends. The truck they were in crashed near Princeton.
Kenny says he was in the passenger seat. He was rushed to Parkland Hospital in Dallas.
“I broke my jaw in six places, broke my nose and broke my neck.” He couldn’t speak for 3 months. He’s had more than 20 surgeries.
His mother Stephanie Bollier took care of him for years. “It’s been hell for 8 years always having seizures and off to the hospital,” explains Stephanie.
The family took out a second mortgage and made their home handicap accessible, but then his mom got in a bad car accident and couldn’t take care of her son any longer. The family says they were forced to put Kenny in a nursing home in McKinney.
He has spent the last 2 and half years in the nursing home. “Seeing other people that are 70 and 80 years old and doing more than I can – that’s hard,” he says.
Kenny’s family has no van to transport him in his wheel chair so an ambulance has to be arranged so he can make trips home.
Kenny’s hospital bills alone cost about a million dollars.
Eight years later his family is still struggling to pay the medical expenses and mortgage. In fact, they are in the process of losing their home.
For Kenny that’s perhaps the hardest the fact that his family is still paying a huge price for his bad decision. “My parents almost losing their house because we’ve been through so much,” says Kenny.
Kenny wants people to understand the lasting impact of their decisions. “Don’t drink and drive! Don’t hop in a care with someone who is it can change your life in a blink of an eye,” says Kenny.
He is now an advocate for Mother’s Against Drunk Driving.
“To admit he made a mistake and go out there and tell his story it takes a lot of courage,” says Christi Roberts who is MADD’s Victim Services Specialist “We spent millions of dollars trying to find cures for cancer and diabetes. We have a cure for this and it’s just don’t drink and drive.”
He will never play football again, but Kenny feels tingling in his feet and now hopes he will someday walk again. MADD has helped Kenny find a program which will provide him with an apartment and a nurse. He’s hoping to move out of the nursing home this spring.