A curator and lover of Denver music needs help. Gary Lee Bomar — owner of Gary Lee’s Motor Club and Grub, the South Broadway bar that has hosted hundreds of bands and is a staple during the Underground Music Showcase — is in the hospital in critical condition due to a severe head injury sustained while on vacation.
Bomar was in Mexico this past week. On Wednesday, September 30, he was traveling alone in a small town between Cabo and La Paz and on the phone with his mother when he said, "Hang on, there's an accident, I need to call you back." She called him back about an hour and a half later and someone told her that her son was in an ambulance. Bomar's brother and sister flew down to Mexico, but found that Bomar could not be transported back to the U.S. until his Mexican hospital bills were paid.
Bomar's cousin Ali Gravina immediately set up a gofundme page for Bomar, with an original goal of $30,000 and an explanation of the cause:
Gary Lee went to Mexico for vacation and he has been in an accident. All we know is that he has a severe head injury. He has had surgery but is not doing well and needs to be flown back to the US. His family is trying to raise money to get him home ASAP. They will not release him until all his bills are paid in full. Every little bit helps. Let’s get him home!
The goal was exceeded within hours. "Oh, my God, it's making me so emotional," says Kyle McFarlene (another cousin) of the outpouring of support. "I don't know who all these people are...it's amazing. I've never seen anything like that in my life. It's a testament to who he is. Everybody loves him — he's got such a big personality."
McFarlene tells Westword that the family was able to medevac Bomar back to the United States Thursday night. But he still faces an uphill battle, both medically and financially. Bomar’s sister Tiffany, who was in Mexico with him, asked Gravina to increase the goal to $100,000 to help cover the extensive medical costs he still faces.
Gravina posted the following message on the gofundme page late October 1:
Once they do get him home he will still have a long road ahead. Countless surgeries and extended stays in the hospital are in his future. Thank you everyone for your generosity and love for this awesome guy!”
Indeed, Bomar's condition is very serious, though he is (contrary to some reports) still alive — contributors to the gofundme recieved the following message on Friday night:
Gary Lee's condition continues to worsen and at this point the family is considering all of their options and what Gary Lee's wishes would be. Chances of his recovery are diminishing. Any additional monies received will be used towards his continuing medical costs and any other arrangements or services that will be required in the future. The family is overwhelmed by the generosity and request that you refrain from phone calls at this time.
"We appreciate how much everyone loves Gary Lee, and it makes us feel better," says McFarlene. Visit the gofundme page for more information and donation instructions.
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A photo of Gary Lee Bomar in the hospital. Provided by his sister, Tiffany.
This post was updated at 10:05 a.m. on Friday, October 2, to include more information about the accident and our interview with Kyle McFarlene, and again on Saturday morning to confirm Bomar's condition.