If you are looking for a community cheerleader, Larry Hammett is your guy.
And never far from his side is his best friend and wife of 51 years, Pat.
The two are reunited and finally home after a lengthy stay at Texas Health Harris Hospital Fort Worth where Larry spent six months, one week and two days recovering from an accident that nearly killed him.
“The doctors first told me I would never come home or walk again. Those first few days they weren’t even sure I would make it, but I’m pretty ornery, so I went ahead and made it,” he joked.
The accident that landed him in the hospital, however, was anything but funny.
It happened Nov. 17, 2015 when Larry was selling a Jeep Grand Cherokee to one of his customers at Bruner Motors where he worked.
After pulling the jeep around to the front of the dealership, putting it in park and exiting the vehicle, Larry noticed the light for the windshield fluid was on.
“When I tried to get back inside (the jeep), it jumped back into reverse when I had one foot in the vehicle and one out,” he said.
The vehicle rolled over him, pinning him against a truck before he blacked out.
That particular jeep has had similar problems and a recall for the fix has been issued.
In fact, ’Star Trek’ actor Anton Yelchin was killed June 19 when his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down his driveway, pinning him against a brick mailbox.
The trauma from Larry’s accident triggered a heart attack, and in the months after, he had two surgeries and extensive rehabilitation.
He was released from the hospital May 25 and is continuing his physical therapy four times a week and taking short walks with his walker.
He doesn’t venture far, however, and is only allowed to go to church and the grocery store per doctor’s order, but he is not complaining.
“I am glad to be home,” Larry said. “I am doing better than I deserve to be.”
Larry and Pat are fixtures in Stephenville; part of the Yellow Jacket faithful and the kind of good-hearted people who never met a stranger.
Both born and raised here, their love for Stephenville runs deep.
“We are overwhelmed by the support we have had,” Pat said.
In fact, the couple had more than 600 visitors while Larry was hospitalized.
Today, they are taking it one day at a time and enjoying the comforts of home - as well as their favorite foods.
Within days of returning home, they joked about placing a take-out order from one of their favorite restaurants - Jake and Dorothy’s.
“We cried a little bit when we came home,” Larry said. “We weren’t sure if God was going to let us come back, but we are glad He did.”