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Friends of Flint to hold benefit shoot

Friends of Flint to hold benefit shoot
Don “Flint” Newbury

Later this month, a benefit skeet and trap shoot will be held for Don “Flint” Newbury, to assist him as he battles a spinal injury. But who is Newbury, and just what happened to him?

In the summer of 2012, Newbury was celebrating his 50th birthday at a friend’s house. It started like any other day like any other party but ended up changing his life forever.

“We were having a great time, cooking shrimp, and hanging out at his pool,” Newbury recalled. “I got a little hot and decided to get wet. I dove into the pool, not a jackknife or a straight-down dive, just an easy dive to get wet. That’s the last thing I remember until I woke up in the hospital.”

Newbury’s dive ended with a broken neck at C5 vertebrae, leaving him a quadriplegic. He had emergency surgery to fuse his neck for stability, and to prevent further injury to the spinal cord. He spent five weeks on a ventilator in intensive care, and then the next three months in a rehabilitation facility.

“I have always been active and I love the outdoors,” Newbury said. “I hunted deer and exotics all through South Texas. I caught plenty of trout and redfish at the coast. I even caught a blue marlin in Cabo San Lucas.”

Newbury also enjoyed working the family land in Charlotte, and helped to build a quality deer herd. Since the accident, those things are no longer a part of his life.

Now confined to a wheelchair, Newbury doesn’t have use of his legs or hands, and only limited use of his arms. His wife, Zoila, has been there for him as both their lives took an incredible change. She continued to work through his medical procedures, and drove to and from facilities to spend as much time with him as she could. She is now not only his wife, but also his caretaker.

“I don’t know how she does it,” he said. “All I know is that I’m blessed to have her in my life.”

The family then began dealing with financial concerns, following the expense of modifying their home, paying medical and prescription bills, and covering medical supplies and equipment.

Two years ago, Newbury learned about stem-cell therapy, using stem cells from umbilical cords donated by new mothers. Stem cell therapy was not available in the United States at the time, but a facility in the Ukraine welcomed Newbury. To get him there, family members and friends donated money, while others hosted shooting and fishing tournaments to raise money.

“The hospitals and medical staff in the Ukraine aren’t anything like the U.S., but their medical system was fantastic,” Newbury said. “The buildings are all from the 1950s, but they are very clean and nice. The entire medical staff wears starched clothes and they are with you almost all of the time.”

The therapy helped. Newbury regained some movement in his toes and index fingers.

This year, Newbury learned that a couple of U.S. facilities are running trials with stem cell therapy. He told his friends, and they decided to host another fund-raiser.

Skeet and Trap Shooting Benefit

Saturday, Aug. 29, 9 a.m.

Bexar Community Shooting Range

¢Live and silent auctions

¢Washers tournament

¢Barbecue plates

For more information, call Robert Stuart at 210-872-4950, Andrew Stuart at 210-602-4121, or Martha Larson at 210-477-3000.

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