A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Life’s Lesson: Kentucky state senator Webb has new understanding of the disabled following foot injury

By Mark Maynard
Kentucky Today

Robin Webb said she has more compassion for those with disabilities after spending the past six weeks with a cast on her left foot.

“I get a little frustrated, but I have a whole new appreciation for people who have to deal with disability every day,” she said. “It almost makes me cry (thinking about it). They grapple with a lot worse than this and keep a smile. That’s one of the lessons I’ve learned.”

The Kentucky state senator and attorney from Grayson fractured the fibula bone in her left foot while stepping out of a horse trailer camper in Shelbyville, Tenn., on Aug. 25. She wishes she had a better story to tell about how she broke it, but said it was nothing more than a misstep.

“I stepped out of my horse trailer camper wrong, had my hands full and didn’t have my boots on,” she said. “I was just probably in a hurry. It was just a misstep. I fell forward and thankfully it wasn’t both of my ankles (that broke).”

State Sen. Robin Webb, left, and Rep. Jill York spoke to a group of students at West Carter Middle School before taking this selfie last month.

Webb said she could instantly feel the bone was not where it was supposed to be.

“The skin immediately peeled back and broke the top layers, but didn’t break through the skin completely. I massaged the bone back in. I knew I was in trouble.”

Webb, who was without her phone or truck keys when she fell, gathered herself enough to get back to the trailer and then drove to the hospital. She was in Shelbyville for the Tennessee Walking Horse Championships, one of her favorite events of the year.

As she was driving to the hospital, she was on the phone with Anthem.

“I wanted to make sure I’m covered (with insurance),” she said. “It was a great distraction for the pain. It really didn’t hurt that much. I did have the good sense to call them (the emergency room at the hospital) and have them meet me with a wheelchair when I got there.”

Webb said she received expert care at the Tennova Hospital and friends have made her recovery bearable. Her girlfriends and horseshow family were especially helpful the week of the injury. Dr. Joe Leith, in her home area, made the healing better, too. He performed surgery on Sept. 11.

“I knew I was in the right place when you have a doctor who prays with you at the pre-op visit,” she said. “I was real blessed to have a doctor who could fix it in the least evasive manner he could.”

For somebody who stays on the go as much as Webb – she keeps the road burning from Grayson to Frankfort as an attorney and state senator – the time to sit back and heal has been difficult. She was thankful that “my driving foot” wasn’t the one that broke.

Her Facebook page, typically filled with a lot of selfies with constituents, has been more footsies since the injury.

Webb has used crutches and her son purchased a scooter for her. “I may need to get some camo tape on it for hunting season,” she said. “No tree stands. I may have to fight with a bear on the ground.”

She said the accident happened so quickly and it’s a reminder of “how quickly your life can change.”

“My injury is minor in scale and it has been a journey. Everybody should realize how much we take for granted like bending over and tying your shoes,” she said. “People with chronic pain who need relief from opioid prescriptions. I get it. I always got it. But I have a new appreciation for people who are not going to get better and what they are going through.”

Webb’s injury required surgery and physical therapy and it also included driving restrictions.

“My son Troy (Combs) helped me a great deal,” she said. “I try to make what court appearances I can and make the obligations I can. I try to stay on top of everything and I hate missing things. I hate missing Chili Fest (in Ashland last weekend). I try to have a pretty good outlook. I had a couple of days of poor, pitiful me but I knew it could have been worse.”

Webb said fellow attorneys, judges, clients and her constituents have been understanding of her situation, but “I grieve over not making the rounds. It causes me stress.”

Representing the people, whether it be in public or private life, is paramount to her.

Webb said she has been able to keep up with all that was going on in Frankfort through briefings from her staff. She also hasn’t stopped making public appearances, including being part of a pension forum in Cannonsburg and speaking at a regional bar association meeting.

“I told (attorney) John Vincent if I passed out giving that speech he could get up and finish it for me,” she said.

Webb said she has always been an independent woman, maybe too independent. “The Lord has a way of showing you.”

Related Posts

One Comment

  1. Joe huenefeld says:

    Joe huenefeld. I have always loved you!!

Leave a Comment