‘A community icon:’ Hubertus residents unite to assist ‘Cowboy Kenny’ after fall in bitter cold

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HUBERTUS -- A Hubertus man known as "Cowboy Kenny" was hospitalized with serious injuries after an incident at his horse farm. Thankfully, one friend's intuition saved his life.

It was a cold and snowy day at Cowboy Kenny Smith's farm. Longtime friend Bryan Rosine always checks in on his 75-year-old buddy.

Cowboy Kenny Smith and Bryan Rosine

"I wanted to make sure he was OK," said Rosine. "He wasn't answering the phone all day long."

Concerned, Rosine drove over to the farm and found him. It wasn't good.

"He was actually laying underneath the panels. He was in the process of feeding his horses," said Rosine. "He was breathing but unresponsive, and his hands were white. His face was purple. He had been there for quite some time."

Cowboy Kenny spent eight hours exposed to the bitter cold after falling.

Cowboy Kenny's horses

Cowboy Kenny

"I wasn't sure if it was a head injury or a diabetic coma," explained Rosine. "His blood sugar was 38, which was extremely low."

Using his own clothes to keep Cowboy Kenny warm, Rosine called for paramedics.

"Six of us dragged him up here to the ambulance," said Rosine.

He was taken to Columbia St. Mary's just in time. Doctors were able to treat a serious case of frostbite.

Cowboy Kenny's farm

"So far, he's got all his hands, fingers, but they are all wrapped up," said Rosine.

With Cowboy Kenny in therapy to get his hand functions back, Rosine wrangled some help.

"Trying to do what we can to take care of him," said Rosine.

Marty Zirgibel was helping care for his horses and his dog while he heals.

Cowboy Kenny's horses

"He touched a lot of lives," said Zirgibel. "This guy is a community icon. For 25-30 years, he had a contract with the Milwaukee County Mounted Patrol Unit."

Rosine said since Cowboy Kenny has no wife or children to lean on, the community stepped up financially, physically and emotionally -- coming together to help out this herdsman.

"He looked at me and started crying," said Rosine. "Cowboys don't cry, so it's very touching, and he is very appreciative."

A GoFundMe account was set up to help take care of Cowboy Kenny's home and animals while he heals. If you'd like to donate money, or even your time, learn more by CLICKING HERE. 

Cowboy Kenny's GoFundMe

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