Keeping The Faith

When a horse wreck left ranch patriarch Kirk Webb in a coma, his family didn't lose hope.
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Kirk and one of his favorite mounts.

Kirk and one of his favorite mounts.

On a crisp day in October of 2013, father and son Kirk and Dan Webb, along with Dan’s wife Kalena, saddled up their horses and rode out to take care of the day’s ranching duties. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary on the family-owned and -operated Webb Ranches, located near Wendell, Idaho. As the trio worked cattle in a grazed-off corn field, the day took a turn for the worse when Kirk’s horse clipped a cow and went down—hard. His injuries were severe, and Kirk was life-flighted straight out of the corn field to a trauma center.

The family despaired as Kirk sank into a coma. The doctors’ prognosis was grim, and during the second week, the family was asked to consider taking Kirk off life support. Doctors said that even if Kirk came out of the coma, it was unlikely he'd be able to walk or even speak. The Webbs refused to submit to the predictions of the doctors; they kept faith, believing Kirk would exceed everyone’s expectations.

During the tense weeks while Kirk was in a coma, friends and family rallied to make sure Webb Ranches stayed in operation.  Says Kalena, "We were getting ready to gather our cows, which takes a couple of weeks, and then wean the calves. We made the gather happen with the help of friends and neighbors. There was no cell service there so each night we drove in search of a cell signal to make a phone call to check on Kirk.” 

Dan, a team roper with his brother and partner, Rob, had the added pressure of competing at the Idaho Cowboys Association (ICA) Finals. The pair won round two of the ICA Finals, and they made a special stop on their way home that night. As they walked into Kirk’s hospital room, Dan felt the need to lay his winning rope in his dad’s hand. The next morning when Kirk’s nurse tried to take the rope, he wouldn’t turn it loose. It was the first sign of consciousness that he’d shown since the accident.

From that day forward, Kirk began to improve. After many months in the hospital and a stint in a rehab facility, Kirk went home. He pushed through months of physical therapy and rehabilitation as his family worked together to run the ranch. Today, he is back to working on the ranch—still working cattle and riding horses. To this day, his main ranch mount is the horse he was riding when the wreck happened—a miraculous ending that testifies to the power of always keeping the faith. 

Dan and Kirk Webb share a love for family, ranching, and rodeo.

Dan and Kirk Webb share a love for family, ranching, and rodeo.

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