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Dallas Restaurateur Kent Rathbun Hospitalized After Off-Road Vehicle Accident [UPDATED]

Big Daddy appears to be on the mend, thankfully

Amy McCarthy is a reporter at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

It hasn’t been a great year for Chef Kent Rathbun. Earlier this year, he parted with his iconic restaurant Abacus, and in the aftermath, had to sue his business partner in order to retain use of his own name for future projects. Now, Rathbun is recovering after a serious ATV accident in West Texas.

D Magazine reports that Rathbun, his wife, and daughter were thrown from an ATV they were riding in on a visit to Marfa, Texas. Rathbun’s wife Tracy suffered minor injuries, but Big Daddy himself had to be airlifted to a hospital to treat a host of severe injuries, including 22 broken ribs, punctured kidney, and a fractured vertebrae.

Rathbun is currently recovering at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, and his physicians are optimistic about the prognosis. “Kent is conscious and blowing into a device that measures his lungs,” said Lynae Fearing, Tracy Rathbun’s business partner. “They feel that if they can get the lungs cleared today, they will do the back surgery tomorrow.”

Rathbun is no doubt looking at a long recovery time, so be sure to spare a few wishes for the popular restaurateur’s fast healing.

UPDATE: Ever the trooper, Rathbun went live from his hospital bed this afternoon, announcing that he would be having surgery tomorrow and thanking the staff at Parkland Hospital. “I wanted to thank everybody for their thoughts,” he said. “And I wanted to make sure y’all knew I wasn’t in a coma. Thank you guys very much for thinking of me, I love everybody.”

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