HARMONY — Helping tow wrecked cars, handing out awards for the prettiest and ugliest vehicles, and cheering for the drivers were some of the things 6-year-old Jaydon Talbot was in charge of doing at Saturday’s demolition derby at the Harmony Free Fair.

Jaydon, the unofficial demolition and towing assistant, also was awarded recognition as the “Number One Derby Fan” during the event, which took place at noon on the second day of the fair. Despite having a prosthetic leg, the result of a lawnmower accident in June 2013, Jaydon walks with ease and has no trouble jumping in or out of the tow truck or running between the demolition track and the parked cars.

“Physically he’s doing super,” said Jaydon’s uncle, Tom Gourley, who is also his legal guardian. “He’s way beyond where his therapist thought he would be.”

On June 5, 2013, Jaydon, who was 4 at the time, fell out of a wagon attached to a lawnmower his father was driving.

His right leg got caught in the mower blade and doctors were forced to amputate it above the knee.

Family and friends were devastated by the accident, but more than a year later Jaydon appears to be a healthy and happy little boy who is starting first grade this week at the Harmony Elementary School.


He already has outgrown his first prosthetic device and has been fitted with a new one, said his uncle, who attributes Jaydon’s success to his positive attitude as well as positive experiences he’s had in the community, at school and at summer camp.

Last month Jaydon and Gourley attended Camp No Limits, a summer camp for young people who have lost a limb, and for their families, in Rome.

“It was tremendous. He learned so much about what he was going through and that there are other kids going through the same thing,” Gourley said. “One of the first things he said when we got there was, ‘Look, there is another kid who was in a lawnmower accident.'”

Jaydon has also learned how to ride a bicycle – without training wheels – and is doing well in school, Gourley said.

“He’s not a kid that gets picked on, which I think is part of the reason he’s doing so well,” Gourley said. “That and the fact that he doesn’t want to quit.”

At Saturday’s demolition derby, which included a field of 27 vehicles and the goal of crashing them into each other until none of them worked, Jaydon was decked out in goggles to keep the dust out of his eyes and earphones. He raised his hands in the air and shouted “Yeah!” when the cars got smashed.


When the plastic rim around the goggles came off and a family friend offered to help fix them, Jaydon insisted on doing it himself.

“He has no fears,” said the family friend, Louann Burgess. “That’s just how he is. Last night, when they had music to open the fair he just got up and started to sing. He’s a pretty special kid.”

The Gourley family and their friends are raising money to send Jaydon to Camp No Limits again next year. They have set up an online campaign through the site gofundme or checks marked ‘camp fund’ can be sent to Jaydon Talbot, 207 North Road, Harmony, ME 04942.

“In a few years I can see him being one of the volunteers teaching and helping the other kids,” Burgess said.

“He has so many fans here it’s unreal.”

The Harmony Free Fair continues through Monday. Exhibition halls open Monday after a 9:30 a.m. Labor Day parade.

Parking and admission are free.

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