Sidney Wilson’s friends will sing for his benefit

Published 11:12 am Wednesday, July 31, 2013

ADAMS GROVE—For some people, speaking well of others isn’t enough. They have to sing those praises.

That’s partly the goal of “Friends of Sidney Wilson” as they organize a concert, “Singing for Sidney.” The event is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Franklin High School.

The music isn’t just to entertain Sidney and his wife, Judy of Adams Grove. Specifically, the money raised will be given to the couple so they can pay bills in the aftermath of an accident that nearly killed him last December.

One of those friends who’s helping organize the show is Paul Butler, who said they’ve known each other since they were 17 years old.

“I’ve known Paul Butler all my life,” is how Sidney described his friend, and added, “We rode motorcycles together. We’re one big ol’ family.”

Butler said that Sidney was on a work site in Norfolk when the accident occurred. Reportedly, he was standing behind a dump truck and was pinned by an excavator.

“The excavator backed up. He (the machine driver) didn’t know I was there or wasn’t looking,” said Sidney, who confirmed those details, but didn’t want to elaborate on the matter.

Judy said she was working as a housekeeper at the Palm Tree Inn the day of the incident.

He was conscious when they spoke on cell phones, she said, and he asked for his charger. By the time Judy got to the hospital, he had a breathing tube in him.

Both the Wilsons and Butler said the accident damaged all of Sidney’s internal organs. At one time, survival was questionable.

“The nurses didn’t know he was going to make it,” Judy said, adding that her husband also almost lost his toes.

“They were black when I woke up,” Sidney said about the two weeks he was unconscious.

Amputation wasn’t necessary, but the spleen did have to be removed, as well as part of his colon. He’s also looking at a possible reversible colostomy next year but said his doctor wants him to be much improved before then.

In addition to Butler, Sidney and Judy both said how grateful they are to Dr. Jay Collins, as well as the trauma rehabilitation staff at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

Sidney also singled out Joe and Maryann Vick of Franklin.

“They’ve also been friends for many years,” he said, and added they too rode motorcycles together. Further, Joe built the wheelchair ramp and has kept the grass cut.

While he’s able to use both a walker and wheelchair, the certainty of walking again is still unknown.

“I hope so, but I can’t be definite. I’ll let the doctor make that call,” said Sidney.

Meanwhile, the Wilsons’ days are filled with exercise and therapy. Three times a week the couple, who has been married 11 years, travels to Roanoke Rapids, N.C. There, he can exercise to regain mobility, strength and use of his arms and legs. Occupational therapy helps with the chest and shoulders, of which he said he has limited use.

Seated on the chair in the home, Sidney demonstrates the limit of how far he can move. The arms come up just about chest high.

He was reluctant at first when Butler and others told him about the benefit show.

“I don’t need it,” Sidney said.

Judy explained that workman’s compensation has been taking care of the medical bills.

“But Paul explained to me that I’ve been helping others, and they want to help me,” he added. “I just figured if they want to do it, I’m not going to stop them.

“You don’t know good friends until something like this happens.”

“Sounds of Time” will feature six performers, including Butler and co-sponsor Paul Bell of Absolute Quality Events.

Tickets cost $10 and are available at Franklin BP, Bubba’s Place, Fred’s Restaurant, Drake Tire and Smith Jewelers. Franklin High School is located at 310 Crescent Dr., Franklin.

Call Butler at 338-1640 for more information.