Ray "Cowboy" Barrett's Medical Fund

My name is Angie Vaughan, and I’m setting up this GoFundMe page for my father-in-law, Ray “Cowboy” Barrett. Many of you know him as the colorful, white-bearded, overall-wearin’ host to the Sandyland Bluegrass Reunion in Nacogdoches, Texas. He suffered a heart attack on December 10th, and due to diabetes related complications and other stresses, his body became septic. Although he needed heart bypass surgery immediately, the risk was just too great! They sent him home with a strict diet, medications and other guidelines to get him healthy enough to have the surgery. For Cowboy, that meant taking his medications, which he has never been fond of and cutting back on his famous cathead biscuits and gravy, fried catfish and other southern favorites! Many may have thought he couldn’t get there, but he put in the hard work and dedication. By the end of January he was cleared to have the surgery. The plan was for a quadruple bypass, but the overachiever he is, he went for FIVE bypasses, one for good measure! He learned his heart was only operating at 15%! The surgery was a success, and he was sent home to heal and get stronger. God has a plan for Cowboy, and his wife Sara, and our entire family is so thankful. When this happened in December, Cowboy had no insurance or benefits of any kind thanks to a job loss in 2013. They are living off of Sara’s teaching salary, where she has taught special needs children her entire career. Fortunately, they met the deadline in signing up for Obamacare in December, but there are astronomical bills, including ongoing medication for his diabetes. Cowboy’s VA benefits were also denied because Sara makes too much money as a teacher! Yeah, right! Cowboy may have a tough exterior to some, but he sure has a heart of gold! He’s been a volunteer for the Central Heights-Appleby Volunteer Fire Department for over 30 years. He even organized a ride in a fire truck for a terminally ill child, bringing joy to the child, his family and the entire community! He also housed some families at the bluegrass park after they were flooded from Hurricane Harvey. He’s involved in many organizations that honor veterans, fallen soldiers and other first responders. 

His Sandyland Bluegrass Reunion brings in bluegrass enthusiasts from all over the country several times a year. Bluegrass is his passion! More importantly bluegrass is his family! All those that come to his campgrounds are made to feel special. He puts his heart and soul, and much of his own money in to ensuring that the legacy of bluegrass is continued on. This is especially shown through the countless youngsters that Cowboy has mentored throughout the years. Getting them up on stage, encouraging them to use their talents, loaning kids instruments and the list goes on! The Barrett’s were active in getting the Blueberry Bluegrass in the Park Concert in Nacogdoches off and running. They also volunteer countless hours to helping promote other bluegrass related events. Cowboy is always willing to help!

I want to ease the financial burden he and Sara are feeling due to his heart condition, diabetes complications and recent surgery. Cowboy has always been a hardworking person.  He’s used to being very active working in his shop, cutting logs at his sawmill, helping son Gus build his house across the road, helping other son Gary and myself with our annual BBQ Cook-off, among other selfless acts. He’s also a highly sought-after contract maintenance and repairman, which is no longer an option. He has applied for disability, but that’s a long process, and no assurance it will be approved. He has an immediate need for assistance with medications, doctor visits and of course, the mounting hospital and specialist bills as well as just the burden of monthly expenses. Some say, “pay $10/month, and they can’t do anything because you’re showing effort.” That’s not Cowboy! He pays his bills, and takes that responsibility serious. I ask each of you to prayerfully consider donating what you can to help Cowboy and Sara. If they have touched you in any way, please consider helping them. Prayers are definitely appreciated! You can also help by joining us at Sandyland on Saturday, April 21st for the Bluegrass Kick-off or Sandyland Bluegrass Reunions in May and September. See the attached picture/flyer for more details. Sponsorships and recognitions are available too. Lots of fun for the entire family! In the short two years that Cowboy has been in mine and Gary’s life, we have grown to love this man and want to help in any way we can. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. By the way, Cowboy has no idea I’m doing this, so let’s not tell him!



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Organizer and beneficiary

Angie Clampitt Vaughan 
Nacogdoches, TX
Sara Barrett 
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