BETHANY, Okla. – It was an emotional day for a Rush Springs family – their son, who was injured in a terrible ATV accident more than a year ago, finally got to go home.
Zeth Richardson, 12, has been recovering at the Children’s Center in Bethany for more than a year, but on Friday, he was released from the hospital.
Last spring, James Richardson, Zeth’s dad, was riding ATVs with his two sons near their hometown of Rush Springs when the unthinkable happened.
“It was really traumatic, I mean my boy was dead in my arms. It was terrible,” James told News 4 last month.
Zeth, who had been riding for years, went over a plateau and hit his head on the handlebars when he came down.
The then 11-year-old, who wasn’t wearing a helmet, flipped off the ATV.
Before Richardson knew it, his son was being loaded into a medical helicopter.
“They came out and told me if I wanted to say something to Zeth, I better say something to him,” Richardson said. “It was awful.”
More than a year later, Zeth can’t walk or talk.
His doctor at the Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital says he’s come a long way, but he likely will never be able to talk or take more than a few steps independently.
Something doctors say could have been prevented had he been wearing a helmet.
However, getting him to keep one on was always a struggle for Zeth’s family.
“He would leave with helmets on, but wouldn’t come back,” Donna recalled. “We don`t know where they`re at.”
Now they’re hoping Zeth’s story will serve as a warning to other kids and their parents.
“You know, the kids don`t want to wear them, but they need to wear them,” said Zeth’s grandpa, Mickey Richardson.” That’s the main thing. Just look at him. Little kids ought to be looking at that. They need to look at that.”