Since our story on Monday about bluegrass singer Ernie Thacker facing the amputation of his legs due to ongoing complications from his tragic auto accident in 2006, we have heard numerous questions about how friends and fans can offer financial support. Thacker was an up-and-coming vocalist and bandleader when he suffered injuries that put him in a wheelchair and left him paralyzed from the waist down. He still performs as he can, but the life of a road musician is out of the question.
Though our piece suggested that he was headed to Lexington for surgery that day, it turns out that he remains hospitalized in Pikeville awaiting a bed where the procedure will be performed. A serious bone infection has spread from his hips into his femur, and doctors fear that no other course of treatment is open to them if they want to stop the infection and save Ernie’s life.
It is expected that he will remain hospitalized for several months following surgery, making it impossible for either he or his wife, Karen, to work for some time.
A fund has been established at the New People’s Bank in Haysi, VA where donations can be sent. Ernie and Karen will be able to access these funds directly.
To make a donation, simply mail a check to the bank.
New People’s Bank
c/o Theda Viers
PO Box F
Haysi, VA 24256
Ms. Viers is Ernie’s aunt, and she can ensure that checks are properly deposited.
When we caught up with Karen this afternoon, she said that he is trying to keep his spirits up, but that the waiting was really getting to him. Visits from family are what is helping him most, especially their five grandchildren.
“Ernie says that the babies is what is keeping him strong because that’s what he looks forward to the most is watching them grow up. That’s how he made the decision to have this surgery because he wanted to be here for the babies.”
He and Karen are deeply grateful to anyone who is able to share with them as they face this long and tortuous ordeal.
For those whose memory is short, here is a video of Thacker singing from before his accident, not long after he left Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys.