Shelley (EastIdahoNews.com) — It’s been 21 years and Kelsey Countryman will finally be able to attend a Garth Brooks concert.
The Shelley native was just 6-years-old when she was hit by a car just hours before she was supposed to see Brooks perform live in Salt Lake City back in 1998.
Countryman was staying with her aunt, Rhonda Newman, in a motel when she went outside to get a hairbrush from the car.
“The next thing I hear is, ‘Rhonda!’” Newman says. “I open the door and she’s laying there on the ground. I told her to get up and she said, ‘I can’t. I got hit by a car.’ The driver had reached down to turn the radio and thought he hit a speedbump. He didn’t even know he hit her until he saw me.”
Countryman doesn’t remember the impact of being struck by the vehicle but recalls she was upset that emergency crews had to cut off her brand new pants she had purposely worn for the concert.
“I remember riding in the ambulance,” Countryman tells EastIdahoNews.com. “After that, I don’t remember much until we were at the hospital. I had a broken femur and had to spend the night.”
Newman’s husband took the other children who were with them to the Brooks show while Newman and Countryman stayed at the hospital. The young girl ended up having surgery and never made it to see one of her favorite singers.
When the country star announced earlier this year that he was doing two shows in Boise on July 19 and 20, East Idaho Credit Union launched a social media contest called ‘Good for Garth.’
“We were asking for nominations of good people that do good in their life and want a chance to see Garth Brooks in Boise later this month,” says Toby Hayes, East Idaho Credit Union Vice President of Marketing. “We had almost 200 nominations and received some really heartbreaking and touching entries.”
Newman shared Countryman’s story with the credit union and mentioned the mother of three, who works at Arctic Circle, is not able to afford tickets to the concert. Countryman’s youngest child was also recently diagnosed with autism.
With EastIdahoNews.com cameras rolling, Hayes surprised Countryman at her home Friday morning with a Garth Brooks concert package, including field tickets to the show, a hotel room, gas card and money for food. The young mother repeatedly thanked Hayes when presented with the gift.
And now, after more than two decades, Countryman will be able to say she went to a Garth Brooks concert.
“I’m just really glad that she gets to go and hope she has a lot of fun,” Newman says with a smile.
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