BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Roel Benavides is a husband, father of four, and a popular barber in his community of Cameron Park and throughout Brownsville.
In December 2020, he was doing mechanic work under his truck when it suddenly moved, rolling over him and causing serious injuries, according to Benavides.
“As soon as I tried getting up, I just fell back. Instantly I was paralyzed, waist down,” said Benavides.
Neighbors came to his aid and called his wife, a nurse, to come out of the house.
“First thing I remember she came, her nurse instinct came in, she just grabbed my feet tapped them together and she’s like do you feel that? And I said no,” he said.
Benavides’ wife was seven months pregnant at the time and he said her face went blank and he realized his injuries were serious.
He said after being rushed to a local hospital, a doctor said he would remain in a paralyzed state.
Benavides said when another doctor came in to take over, that doctor had hope and sent him to San Antonio for surgery.
He said he was told he had a complete spinal cord injury and would not walk again.
Benavides explained that a therapist believed he could gain some movement even with his injury and is now in therapy at Fort Worth.
He said he is working on standing up and moving, but he needs a medical device to help.
“I’m trying to get back to cutting hair and the standing frames, the one I use at therapy itself is $5,000,” said Benavides.
He explained that the standing frame will help him stand and be stabilized.
“The first time I used that, I literally told my therapist, I can cut hair in this. So, it literally happened where I started cutting the patient’s hair at therapy,” said Benavides.
Therapy, relocation, and equipment costs are high and he said his friends and family, and even strangers have helped.
A long-time friend of Benavides, Hector Garza, said he and his friends have coordinated chicken plate fundraisers that helped Benavides and his family during the difficult times.
Garza said a local barbershop hosted a Cuts for a Cause event where all proceeds went to help the family.
Benavides said the support has been overwhelming and he is grateful for all the support he has received.
“I feel like I owe them a lot. God willing, I’ll be able to give back. They did it for me, I won’t forget about it,” he said.
A BBQ chicken plate fundraiser is scheduled to help Benavides purchase the medical equipment he needs, according to Hector Garza.
The fundraiser is scheduled for Oct. 24, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 2209 Dennis Ave. in Brownsville.