June 7 is a day that the Lopez family will never forget. On that day, their 5-year-old son Talon was involved in an accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury and could have claimed his life.
The family had just purchased a new ATV the day before. Jimmy, Talon’s father, had given Talon some chores to do the morning of June 7. He told him that, once he finished his chores, he would take him for a ride on the new vehicle. At around 3 p.m., Talon finished his chores, and the pair started riding.
The Lopez family has 10 acres of land behind their home on 1638 in Brandenburg, and on that land are two donkeys and a cow who have a penchant for chasing vehicles around the property. As the two were riding along, Jimmy noticed that the cow was charging the ATV. He swerved to avoid the cow, and in doing so, ran into a pond that the family has in the middle of their land. Jimmy managed to remove his and Talon’s seatbelts, but Talon’s arm was stuck, and the ATV sank down to the bottom of the pond.
Megan, Talon’s mother, was in the house cleaning up in preparation for a fish fry the family had planned for later that day. After calling 911, Jimmy calls her. Though she can’t make out what Jimmy is saying, she knows something is wrong. She jumps on an ATV and rides along the fence to try to find out what’s going on. She hears Jimmy screaming and rides down the hill, seeing that Jimmy is in the pond.
She can’t see Talon.
Megan, who is 6 feet tall, jumps into the pond, which was deeper than they realized – she can’t even touch the top of the ATV with her feet. She tries to go under in an attempt to do something, but due to the panic, she can’t hold her breath for long enough. She comes up for air and starts screaming at the top of her lungs, hoping that her neighbors hear her. They do, and they arrive roughly at the same time as the sheriff’s deputy and jailer J.J. Scarborough. Scarborough happened to have a hook in the back of his truck, and one of their neighbors swam down and latched the hook to the vehicle so it could be pulled out. The ambulance finally arrived and rushed Talon to Hardin Memorial Hospital.
Talon had been underwater for at least 15 minutes. He did not have a pulse for 45 minutes.
Talon’s parents arrived at the hospital fearing the worst. However, doctors told them that they were not having to give him extra medication to keep his heartbeat going. Talon was taken to Norton’s Children’s Hospital, where he stayed until Aug. 12.
Talon, who celebrated his sixth birthday in August, is dependent on a ventilator and has a MIC-KEY button for feeds and medicines. However, he is slowly but surely showing signs of improvement. Initially, he had no pupil response, but now his pupils are moving at a sluggish pace. Talon can also respond to pain or discomfort.
“It will be a long, slow process,” said Talon’s mother Megan.
The family, who used to be the type to just pack up and go places spontaneously, are still adjusting to the drastic change. They have done a lot of research in hopes of finding a treatment that might improve Talon’s quality of life. They’ve been in contact with a doctor in another state who specializes in working with children who have lived through drowning experiences. If accepted as a patient, the family will have to live out of state for approximately two months for treatments. These treatments will not be covered by the family’s insurance. Bills from Talon’s hospital stay are also accumulating.
Megan says that they’ve looked into stem cell treatments, which Talon would need several of, that cost approximately $8,000 for each session. Talon will also need hyperbaric therapy, which increases the amount of oxygen the blood can carry. This treatment will cost at least $15,000.
Though Megan says doctors are shocked that Talon is even alive, their prognoses can range anywhere from hopeful to doom and gloom. Regardless, Talon’s mom says he is a warrior.
The family currently has a GoFundMe set up to help raise funds for Talon’s medical expenses. They’ve raised nearly $20,000 so far, but that is a drop in the bucket compared to what they will need. They’ve also created an account at Citizens Union Bank that individuals can contribute to. Additionally, Megan created a Facebook group to provide updates on how Talon is doing and what their needs are. She says that the community has really stepped up.
“Everybody came together as a community,” said Megan. “It doesn’t matter if they are a stranger or not, they still band together for Talon.”
To make a donation to Talon’s family, individuals can go to Citizens Union Bank or visit the GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/rrvacz-talons-triumph.