Kuna community supports Boone and Bartlome family
Photo: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com
Nine days ago a Kuna football player suffered a terrible injury, but since that night the community has rallied to help him.
It can be one of the most difficult things for parents to go through - seeing their son or daughter injured and sent to the hospital.
In an overwhelming show of support, the Kuna community has come together to help the Bartlomes through this trying time.
It looked like a normal play but when everything settled one player was still on the ground, motionless.
It was Number 2, Junior wide receiver Boone Bartlome.
When they saw who it was, Boone's family came down to the field.
"I'll never forget Dianna's [Boone’s mother] face when she stood up,” said Jill Vanantwerp, who was at the game. “And I just felt heartsick for that mom. I felt heartsick for her, from one mom to another."
Boone had broken his neck and he wasn't moving.
"I had no tears, I had no voice, I had nothing,” said Boone’s sister, BaileyJo Bartlome, as she recounted her experience on the field. “I just stared at Boone. There's nothing I could do but hug my mom. I just froze."
Boone was raced to the hospital by ambulance but back at the field a rivalry between two football teams dissolved into a midfield prayer for Boone.
"It was so amazing to see two teams have their arms around each other... saying a prayer,” said Ann O’Neil, a Kuna parent at the game. “It's a moment that all us parents in the crowd, all the players, no one's ever going to forget that."
Since that night, the town of Kuna has not stopped their support for Number 2. Many wear T-shirts with a cowboy and his uniform number, representing Boone's two loves - football and rodeo.
And the shirts are in high demand.
"Our phone started blowing up,” said Vanantwerp, who is selling the shirts. “Everybody's like ‘we hear you have the shirts, we want the shirts, we want to come for the shirts.’"
Ann O’Neil is part of a network of people providing food for the Bartlomes.
"I want to do anything I can [to] help,” said O’Neil. “This is as simple as making a meal for them but it doesn't take them away from the hospital, they don't have to go buy anything. I love this."
Saturday, Boise State recognized the people working to help Boone at the game against Wyoming.
During all this, Boone's spirit remains strong.
"He is always like, ‘I'm going to walk out of here',” said Bailey Jo. “He just talked to me about what unit we were going to hunt in next year. He's like ready to go."
Day by day his friends, family, and the whole Kuna community are cheering on Number 2.
"Keep the support going for Boone,” Bailey Jo said. “Because he loves it and in the end, that's what it's going to be coming down to, is the people pushing him up to do this."
We have received good news about Boone's recovery. He is able to move his arms and doctors are now working on his fingers.
He will start a new rehab schedule this week.
You can help support the Bartlome family by visiting the Kuna football website.