Bikers for Christ to host benefit ride

Published 5:12 am Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Proceeds to go to woman’s medical care

Sixty miles is a short journey compared to the road ahead for one 20-year-old whose life was changed in an instant nearly two years ago.

The Bikers for Christ River Cities Chapter is hosting a 60-mile country ride Saturday for Devon Hamilton, who was injured in a car accident the day after Christmas in 2009. The accident broke her neck, leaving her paralyzed from the neck down.

Jim Bond, elder for the chapter, said proceeds would help to defray the cost of Devon’s many surgeries. Last year, BFC raised more than $4,000 for Devon.

“You’re blessed in doing it but at the same time, I’ve got healthy children and I thank God for them, but you know, your heart just goes out to somebody like this,” Bond said. “It’s a blessing just to be able to help them.”

Devon’s father, Kevin Hamilton, is also a member of BFC, and said the group has been very supportive since the accident.

When Devon was released from the hospital after her accident, BFC and other members from her community in Wheelersburg helped to make her home handicapped accessible so she wouldn’t have to stay in a nursing home.

“She’s become really close to a lot of (the members), a lot of their wives,” Hamilton said. “Being there for her when she’s down… They’ve just been great through this whole thing.”

Hamilton said he hasn’t been able to be as active in the chapter since the accident. At least three or four days a week, he travels from his home in Proctorville to take care of Devon at her home in Wheelersburg when her mother, Tammy Hamilton, is working.

Despite the long road of therapy and surgeries ahead for Devon, her father said she has already defied the odds, surprising her doctors with her continued progress.

After her accident, Devon wasn’t able to speak or breathe on her own, relying on a ventilator. Now, with the aid of a T-tube, she is able to breath through her nose and speak.

Through physical therapy, Devon has also gotten partial use of her arms and is working to regain use of her hands and fingers. Hamilton said she uses her left pinkie knuckle to text and use her computer.

“She pushes herself in therapy and she really works out hard,” he said. “They are working with her to try and get her trunk control back, help strengthen her core.”

The benefit ride is Saturday and will begin at Wade’s Western Wear in Coal Grove with registration at 11 a.m. and the ride beginning at 1 p.m. The cost is $15 per bike and rider.

There will be door prizes, food, music and tents with fans to keep people cool.

Hamilton said Devon is hoping to participate in the ride, riding along with her grandfather, Carl Hamilton, on his trike motorcycle, which she has done before.

“It’s been really tough for all of us,” Hamilton said. “You never know why things like this happen, but it has brought me and Devon closer together.”