CNR record holding bull rider returns to Caldwell

Posted at 7:56 PM, Aug 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-18 21:58:30-04

The top score for bull riding at the Caldwell Night Rodeo still stands at 94 points. A record set back in 2002. The Cowboy who set the record also still stands but not after a horrific injury and a miraculous recovery. Lee Aken's name is still on tip of everyone's tongue at the Caldwell Night Rodeo.14 years ago he rode a bull for 8 seconds and Won big. Lee's not riding anymore, he still loves the sport, but he doesn't even remember his legendary ride here in Caldwell.

"I don't remember that. I wish I'm not sure what happened," Said Lee.

In 2007, Lee was competing in Alabama when the bull he was riding stepped on his head, fracturing his skull and causing a traumatic brain injury. Many thought he was a goner, He spent months in a coma, his recovery has been long and hard.

"He didn't remember much of anything he had to relearn to walk and talk and care for himself time and time again," explained Lee’s wife Melissa.

But he's made more progress in the past 9 months than he has in past 9 years. He used to walk with a limp and had trouble remembering his own birthday. He believes it's all thanks to moving to Idaho and marrying his longtime friend, Melissa.

Lee still has a lot of healing to do but with faith and his wife by his side. He believes he'll make a full recovery. 

"She's perfect, I love Melissa very much she's perfect,” Said Lee. “I believe that one day with god I'm going get better and start talking normal again,"

It's lee's grit and drive, his wife says has helped her in tough times.

"He's definitely helped me in so many ways,” explained Melissa. “What it's like to have that true grit that we all need to have at times."

His contribution to the sport and the Caldwell Night rodeo hasn't gone unnoticed. On Saturday, in front of  the crowd and all the cowboys will recognize Lee and his remarkable comeback.