AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Koben Puckett’s life changed in the course of eight seconds, he went from an up-and-coming cowboy who sat atop bucking bulls to a quadriplegic confined to a power wheelchair.
Koben’s Puckett’s childhood dream was to be a bull rider and he successfully went to win four touring pro competitions. In 2008, at the PBR classic he was thrown from a bull and sustained a broken neck making him a quadriplegic.
“I was a professional bull-rider when I turned 18. I was traveling, rodeoing and it was at a PBR touring pro, like what I’m hosting here in Amarillo that I was injured, I suffered a spinal injury, since then I’ve been on a mission to raise funds and pursue recovery," says Koben Puckett.
This is the Koben Puckett PBR Inivitational 6th year. Last year they raised $13,000 to give 6 scholarships away for those who are recovering from spinal cord injuries and this year they hope to double that amount.
“It’s an inspiration to a lot of people to see what he’s doing, taken what happened to him and helping others out as good as he can,” says former Professional Bull Rider LJ Jenkins.
Koben continues to inspire thousands and says it was really tough the first few years, but now he is feels that helping others, helps him and makes him the happiest.
“We in life look for things to enjoy, things to pursue, happiness and this is an opportunity for me to do something I love," explains Puckett. In the midst of it, is there still pain, yeah, I’m still paralyzed. I still have days that are real tough, but I look for the good. And it is that, that helps me get through it. And I just love getting to help others.”
Koben says this is not the end and there is no quit, he keeps pushing on every day.
“He’s great to be around. He is very inspiring for me as well. Every day he wakes up, every day he pushes hard just to pursue recovery," explains Physical Therapist Hannah Long. "And what he is all about is pressing on and he is 100 percent the definition of pressing on. He inspires several others to do exactly what he is doing as well.”
If there is one thing that Puckett says he enjoys, it’s to be treating like everyone else and that he doesn’t need special favors, you can give me a handshake, just like everyone else.
The Koben Puckett PBR Invitational is July 6 at 7:30 p.m., tickets are $15-$25.