After joining up with Ralph Stanley at 16 years of age, and spending five years as a Clinch Mountain Boy, Ernie had embarked on a promising solo career based on his mountain-style singing when a single car accident in April of 2006 shattered his life. Thacker suffered more than a dozen broken bones, along with damage to multiple internal organs, and spent 14 weeks in intensive care closely tended by doctors and nurses.
While his survival is described as miraculous, the accident has left him paralyzed from the waist down, and with serious ongoing medical issues. Ernie continues to perform as his health allows, but has to sing missing part of one of his lungs which was lost in the crash.
He is likely to face a lifetime of recurring hospitalization, but Thacker soldiers on in good spirits despite the difficulties.
If you are the praying kind, Ernie and his wife Karen would certainly appreciate your consideration as they begin what could be another long stay in the hospital.
Anyone who would like to offer assistance can make donations through the GoFundMe page they set up to try and raise money for Ernie to get a new van. That campaign was unsuccessful, but the family will use funds donated there to help with the costs of this current hospitalization.
Donations can also be made through the New People’s Bank branch in Haysi, VA. Ernie’s aunt works at that branch, and can see that donations made in his name can be deposited to his account.
The address there is:
New People’s Bank
111 Haysi Main
Haysi, Virginia 24256
The bank can be reached by phone at (276) 865-5700.