Boy injured on Branson roller coaster might lose his legs, grandmother says

The grandmother of an 11-year-old Tennessee boy who was injured on a roller coaster in Missouri says doctors are concerned his legs might have to be amputated.

Aalondo Perry, who is visually impaired, was injured Sunday when he fell while getting off of The Branson Coaster during a visit to the southwest Missouri tourist town of Branson, said his grandmother Shelandra Ford.

Ford told WREG-TV in Memphis, Tennessee, that Aalondo tried to ride the coaster in one car with his 13-year-old brother but they were told he would be safe riding in a car alone.

Ford said she was told Aalondo fell when he tried to get off after the roller coaster stopped. When the ride restarted, he was trapped under the rails. It took the Branson fire department about 1 1/2 hours to rescue him, she said.

His legs and right arm were crushed, and doctors don’t know if they will be able to save his legs, Ford said.

“They are talking about amputation,” said Ford. “He has had two surgeries so far since (Monday) morning — skin grafts — and he is going have at least six or seven more before they can even see progress. He’s heavily sedated and in a lot of pain.”

Ford, who is the Shelby County, Tennessee, register of deeds, said her grandson has Marfan syndrome — a genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue. It can cause eye problems, among other things. Aalondo, who is from the Memphis suburb of Collierville, Tenessee, has just 15% vision in one of his eyes, according to his grandmother. He recently learned Braille and how to be mobile with his cane.

Ford said she is grateful Aalondo survived but she believes that if the brothers couldn’t ride together, they should not have been allowed to get on it.

The Missouri Division of Fire Safety is investigating. Two inspectors who were in Branson have seven days to finish their report and the agency cannot comment while the investigation is ongoing, Caty Luebbert, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety, said Tuesday.

Ford said she has hired an attorney. She said she hopes to move her grandson to a children’s hospital in Memphis this week.

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