NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Quitting is not in the vocabulary of a Garrison High School senior who, despite, all odds has successfully shown cattle across the big state of Texas.
This morning at the Nacogdoches County Steer Show, East Texas News met Payton Ramsey.
She was a winner before she ever stepping into a show ring.
"Payton Ramsey, Garrison FFA," the announcer said.
Payton stepped into a show ring with an almost 1,300-pound steer. A couple of years ago, some thought she would never walk again.
"I was in a major ATV accident," Payton said. "I broke my pelvis, my back, dislocated my hip, and tore my sciatic nerve."
A noticeable limp reminds Payton of the seven weeks of hospitalization, 17 procedures, and two major surgeries, plus six weeks of staying home.
"In and out of wheelchairs, crutches for the first six months," Payton said.
After eight more months, Payton was walking on her own. But not for long. About a year ago, she and her mother were in a car wreck.
"I broke my other hip," Payton said.
Her mom, Melanie Ramsey, has had a rough go at it, too.
"Mom is in remission now, but she was fighting breast cancer, and she broke her arm and had a pretty serious concussion, so between all of that it's, it's been pretty rough, and my dad is kinda who got us through it all," Payton said.
"He is our rock. He is our rock," Melanie said. "He has been very strong and held us up thru all of this."
"It's …" Tobey Ramsey started, but emotion kept him from continuing for a moment.
Emotions can speak love.
"As bad as it was, as bad as they had it, I had to be strong for them," Tobey said.
The family put their energy into three show calves and a laid-back Simental calf named Chilly.
"It didn't matter if it was dragging the wheelchair to the barn," Payton said. "Whatever we had to do to get with the calves."
Success followed at Ft. Worth, San Angelo, San Antonio, Houston, and Nacogdoches.
"The steer is going to win its class," the judge said.
"Good job," Toby said.
Payton's experiences certainly don't diminish the hard work put in by all the other contestants in the show ring, but it does illustrate perseverance can go a long way.
"I can say without a doubt that my calves have been the best thing for me and the best physical therapy and everything I could ask for."
Payton Ramsey graduates from Garrison High School this year.
She's planning to attend Texas A&M State University, where she plans to major in animal science with a minor in agri-business. Her career goal is to serve the agriculture industry