Ex-Royal asks fans to help daughterIt was...

Ex-Royal asks fans to help daughter

It was in July, two days after watching her father, former Kansas City shortstop Fred Patek, inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame, that 20-year-old Kimberlie Patek lost control of her pickup truck. She suffered a serious spinal cord injury and is paralyzed from the neck down and unable to breathe without a respirator.


She was uninsured and her medical bills since the accident approach $1 million. Her father needs another $350,000 as a down payment for treatment at a special Houston rehabilitation center.

And so, Patek, who played before the age of millionaire ballplayers, has turned to the public for help.


"This is the last thing I wanted to do, but I've got to do it," he told The Kansas City Star. "I have to give her a chance."

One of the first to offer his help was major-league umpire Steve Palermo, who has working to regain the use of his limbs after a shooting injury.

Palermo, unable to umpire since suffering a frayed spinal cord when shot chasing down muggers in July 1991, has pledged $25,000 toward Kimberlie's care.

"She was not supposed to make it through the night," said Palermo, who has visited Kimberlie several times. "She stared death in the face and beat it. Now she's fighting for a quality of life."

"The life expectancy of someone on a respirator is not real good," Patek said. "If Kim has any chance at all, we have to get her to a major rehabilitation center."

"She wants to live. She's willing to fight."

The Kim Patek Trust Fund has been set up at all branches of Boatmen's First National Bank. Fund-raising events are being coordinated by Patty Peacock at (816) 468-KIMS.