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Monday, February 26, 2024

The Toughest Kid I Know

Sydney JoLee Reigh was born September 30, 2011. She was an amazing, happy baby. She smiled all the time. In January of 2015, she was 3 1/2 years old and started to have excruciating headaches in the back of her head. She would cry and vomit and tell us it felt like someone was sticking a knife in the back of her head. Her Dad (Grant County Game Warden Marshall Reigh) made a video of one of the episodes, and I consulted Dr. Michael O’Quin. He ordered an MRI at OU Children’s Hospital in February of 2015. We found out that week that she had Chiari Malformation. Her brain was herniated into the base of her skull 22mm. On March 3, 2015, she had her first brain surgery. It was one of the hardest days of our lives. She would average a brain surgery every sixty-six days over the next five years. Thirty-Six brain surgeries would occur from that day to January of 2021. She is now twelve years old and in the sixth grade at Medford Public Schools. She enjoys learning, being the basketball manager, being a cheerleader, being in STUCO, fishing, and hunting. 

I asked my little friend Syd a few questions:

“What made you want to start hunting?

Sydney: “I love spending time with my dad and my mom in the outdoors.”

“What’s your favorite thing about the hunt?”

Sydney: “Just being outdoors, spending time with my family hunting and fishing and learning to understand more about wildlife. My favorite animals to hunt are deer and turkeys. I love to hunt everything but those are my favorite. I also love to set traps with my dad.”

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Sydney: “I want to be a pediatrician or a Pediatric RN. I feel like I could really help little kids that are struggling with their health or that are scared to go to the doctor.”

There you have it folks; the toughest kid I know. THIRTY-SIX BRAIN SURGERIES by the age of twelve, yet if you see her selling fruits and vegetables at the farmers market or running around at ballgames, you’d never know. This young lady has harvested more or better wildlife than many of you probably have. I know she has more than me. She’s also way tougher than me. Until next time Okies. . .

Dalen McVay
Dalen McVay is a lawyer and an avid outdoorsman, hunting and fishing for every species available in Oklahoma. He especially enjoys bass fishing and deer hunting. He has two sons and a daughter who also enjoy the great outdoors, especially any time spent at the lake. His lovely wife does not enjoy his muddy boots.



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