March 14, 1998
During the first-round of the Tuff Hedeman Championship
Challenge in Fortworth Texas, Jerome Davis was paralyzed
from the chest down.
While riding Jerry Nelson's bull Knock 'em Out John,
Jerome was jerked down and hit heads with the bull.
The blow knocked Jerome unconscious sending him to the
ground head first. The impact with the ground caused
a fracture / dislocation of the sixth and seventh vertebra
at the base of Jerome's neck and burst fracture of the
sixth vertebra (it exploded and shattered).
The blow to his head did not cause serious head trauma
or brain injury. Jerome received a slight concussion
and was conscious before he left the arena, but was
unable to move.
Jerome was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort
Worth, Texas where he was operated on the next day by
Dr. John Malonis, Sunday, March 15, 1998. (Malonis assisted
with Clint Branger's neck surgery in Salt Lake City
during the fall of 1995.)
After undergoing the surgery Jerome was flown to Charlotte,
NC on March 26, 1998, to the Charlotte Institute of
Rehabilitation. He returned home to his family ranch
in Archdale, NC on April 26, 1998.
The surgery helped Jerome gain back use of his arms
and has feelings and some use of each hand.