>Professional bull rider, Joe Oakes was involved in a head-on collision last week and the family is putting out a call for help to pay medical expenses.
Professional bull rider and Prineville resident Joe Oakes was involved in a head-on collision last week. The family is turning to the community to help cover medical expenses.
   Joe Oakes, a previous Crook County High School Rodeo Team member went to nationals on three separate occasions enabling him to become a current member of the Pro Bull Riders and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
   At the Bull Bash last month Joe and his brother Zack were the only local cowboys who did not get bucked off.
   Following the Bull Bash Oaks was traveling to his next rodeo engagement when he was involved in a head-on collision. Using the Jaws of Life it took emergency crews 40 minutes to extract him from the wrecked vehicle and prepare him for air transport to Bakersfield, California.
   Upon arrival at the Kern County Hospital Oakes was listed in critical condition due to head trauma, lung damage and two shattered legs.
   Surgery followed to repair the leg damage but he continues to be listed in critical condition. Unfortunately for Oakes, he had no medical coverage at the time of the accident.
   With his expected release from the hospital to happen within the next day or so, his family is rallying to support him. But they need help from the community to pay for medical expenses and continuing care.
   The family looks forward to transferring Oakes to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend for follow-up care. However, due to the lung damage sustained in the accident, he cannot be transported by air and will therefore be forced to endure a long road trip home to central Oregon.
   These special circumstances have added additional expenses to an already escalating medical bill, making it very difficult for family to make ends meet.
   An account in Oakes' name has been set up at the Bank of the Cascades where donations can be made towards Oakes' medical expenses. Contributions can be made at any branch to Joe Oakes Medical Expense Account.
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