When news began to circulate in early July of the horrific car accident involving Dylan (16) and Daisy (14) Side, son and daughter of The Virginian’s Head Teaching Professional Mark Side, co-workers, club members and ownership expressed their deep concerns, praying for their recovery. The crash left Daisy in a coma with severe brain injuries and Dylan with emotional scars.
“For a time, there was a chance Daisy wasn’t going make it,” said Jim Blackmore, Director of Golf at The Virginian and Nicewonder Farm & Vineyards. “Thankfully, she’s progressing.”
While Daisy lay in a coma at Johnson City Medical Center in Johnson City, Tennessee, The Virginian and Nicewonder Farm & Vineyards Club and Community began to mobilize, wanting to help Daisy and the Side family.
“The expenses around this type of care can be daunting for anyone. All of us knew something had to be done to help Mark and his family,” added Blackmore.
Blackmore went to Don Nicewonder, owner of The Virginian and Nicewonder Farm & Vineyards, and asked if they could use the course for a benefit golf tournament. Nicewonder immediately agreed, donating all the golf course fees for the benefit and making a sizeable gift to Daisy. Within days a number of concerned members and club associates formed the Friends of Daisy Committee and planned the golf benefit and a post-tournament reception for Monday, July 19th. Within hours of announcing the benefit tournament it sold out as Virginian members and the local community clamored to help. A second benefit tournament was added on Tuesday morning and a junior tournament for friends of Dylan and Daisy was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon – those too sold out. The Wallace family committed to making a gift on the juniors’ behalf for every birdie, eagle, and closest-to-the-pin made – they gladly gifted $5,100 to the cause.
What happened in less than two weeks shows the family spirit of the Bristol, Virginia community. More than 200 people attended the post-tournament reception, hearing the latest on Daisy’s condition from Mark Side, while he personally thanked everyone for their support and prayers. After Side finished his heartfelt thank you, Blackmore announced that more than $150,000 had been raised for the family through the Fore Daisy Golf Benefit.
View this post on Instagram
“Needless to say, this speaks volumes about our membership, our owners, the people in our community, and how much Mark and his family mean to a lot of people,” said Blackmore. “Mark and his family will need a lot of support as Daisy continues to make progress.”
By the third week of July, Daisy was breathing on her own through a trachea and her eyes were open. Thankfully, as the days have progressed so too has Daisy.
She is now rehabbing at Children’s Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta, one of the top rehabilitation hospitals in the world, and has improved to doing purposeful actions – taking her socks on and off, and brushing her hair – as familiar movements are slowly returning. Daisy was able to send an inspiring message to friends and family, indicating she’s working hard in Atlanta and looking forward to seeing everyone soon.
As Daisy and the Side family’s story progresses, we will look to provide updates in the Moments Matter section of the Troon website.