Danette Stephens didn’t know how severe her husband’s accident was until she was put through to the chaplain.
The Parker resident was out of town when she received a call from Littleton Hospital telling her about Larry Stephens’ motorcycle crash. He was not wearing a helmet and suffered a traumatic brain injury, along with a crushed vertebrae and broken jaw. He was hospitalized for more than seven weeks, including a month in the intensive care unit and several months at Craig Hospital.
Because of the head injury, Larry Stephens suffers from short-term memory loss and is unable to say exactly what happened. His wife says it could have been caused by a deer in the road or an oncoming vehicle that swerved into his lane and did not stay at the scene.
The crash happened in their neighborhood, Homestead Hills, on June 2, 2011, and life hasn’t been the same since.
“It’s been a pretty rough time,” Danette Stephens said. “I would not wish this on anyone.”
Three days before his accident, Larry Stephens received a final letter denying him health insurance coverage. The self-employed couple always carried insurance, but their provider filed for bankruptcy months earlier.
The lifelong motorcycle rider’s friends and family members have organized a fundraising event at 3 p.m. June 16 at Parker Trailers, 8900 S. Brompton Way, to help pay medical bills. The event will include three live bands, food trucks and a silent auction. Danette Stephens is hoping to draw more than 1,000 people.
She is looking for an attorney to volunteer time to help her fight a decision that denied Social Security disability benefits for her husband of 23 years. She’s also working with an advocacy group to reduce the “insurmountable” medical costs associated with his care. Larry Stephens faces long-term physical and cognitive issues and will need continued treatment.
Larry Stephens, the owner of a small business called Homestead Electric, has had family, friends and colleagues rally around him. Danette Stephens says she is incredibly grateful for the financial support from loved ones and strangers who want to lend some help.
To help the Stephens family, visit http://www.helphopelive.org/ and type in “Larry Stephens” or call 303-884-3383.