KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An annual Memorial Day race will raise awareness for the thousands of people in Kansas City who are affected by traumatic brain injuries.
That includes a 17-year-old who was shot twice, including once in the head, by a Kansas City homeowner.
Ralph Yarl was shot in April after he mistakenly went to the wrong house to pick up his siblings. Prosecutors said the homeowner, 84-year-old Andrew Lester, fired through a glass door, and Yarl did not enter the home.
Doctors said the 17-year-old faces a long recovery but is expected to fully recover from the two gunshots and traumatic brain injury he suffered during the shooting.
Lester is charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action in Clay County.
On Monday, Yarl’s family attended the annual Going the Distance for Brain Injury Run at Loose Park, which helps raise money for those affected by brain injuries.
The race was previously called the Amy Thompson Run, named after a local 23-year-old who was shot twice in the head in an attempted robbery in 1986. Miraculously, she survived after multiple surgeries and a six-week coma, but died unexpectedly a few years later.
Last year the run honored Kansas City Officer Tyler Moss who nearly died when a gunman shot him near his eye in 2020.
At the time of the shooting, doctors gave Moss a 3.5% chance of survival and less than 1% chance of being able to fully function. But Moss beat those odds and is now back at work.
This year’s honoree is Brent Parks, who works at a glass fabrication facility in Olathe. In 2014, Parks was hit by a piece of metal at work and knocked unconscious.
He suffered a cracked skull, cracked ribs and bruising and was in the intensive care unit for two weeks. Parks now suffers from speech, vision and balance impairments but has since returned to work.