Shark cartilage used in reconstruction of teen’s leg; Kylie loves cards, goodies from community

Medina Valley High School student Kylie Knowles, 14,  jokes that she is “part shark” now, after shark cartilage was used in the reconstruction of her leg.  She has been hospitalized and undergoing many surgeries after her foot was nearly severed in a horrible rollover ATV accident on May 6th.

Any games or things to help pass time are appreciated, and can be mailed to her mother, Karissa Barta, PO Box 313, LaCoste, TX 78039. She is expected to spend between 3-6 weeks in the hospital.

“She loves the cards and messages,” said her mom Karissa, and would also enjoy make up sets, face masks or mani/pedi sets, nail sets, and movies, games, etc to help pass the time.

Kylie has also been in contact with others who have persevered after suffering similar injuries, and the hope they give her means so much. They are praying for a miracle, hoping to be able to save her foot, but doctors have stated there is a chance that amputation will be necessary.

“One is a war vet, and he has kept her spirits up. Another is a mom who got in a car accident. They are giving her hope on things to come and what to expect. She also has been talking to a little girl who is amputee, and she is only 6,” Barta stated.

“They used the shark cartilage in with her muscle they took from her back. Doctors stated that the shark cartilage helps heal wounds and interestingly it’s also used in cancer patients,” Barta adds. “Then when they do bone graft they will use cadaver bone mixed with her femur bone.”

The accident happened just outside of Lytle.

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“She was riding in a two-seater Ranger ATV and they were coming around a corner that had gravel and concrete…they said they hit a bump and it threw it up on 3 wheels and the driver just overcorrected and it rolled,” said Kylie’s mom Karissa Barta in an interview last week.

Kylie suffered the horrific break to her right foot, is missing parts of the bone, torn muscles, torn ligaments, and severed arteries, along with needing skin and tissue grafts in hopes to reconstruct her foot.

“University Trauma Center said this was one of the top five most gruesome injuries they have ever seen. Her foot was literally hanging on by part of an artery and a couple tendons,” Barta said.

Here’s how you can help…

Buy tickets for online benefit;

drawing will be live-streamed June 14

Friends and family are hosting a live streamed benefit for the family during this difficult time, selling tickets to a drawing with lots of great prizes.

The Fundraiser for Kylie Knowles/Barta Family, of Lytle, will help the family with unexpected medical expenses, and travel to and from the University Hospital.

“We currently have over 30 awesome items donated and are collecting more daily. We have lots of gift cards that range from $50-$150 including Visa gift cards, HEB gift cards, a Dinner for Two at a local restaurant, photography sessions, an ice chest, custom tumblers, and many different baskets of items like Scentsy, Essential oils, a Hair care basket from a local salon,” Garza said.

Tickets for the fundraiser drawing are $5 each or 5 for $20. Cash & paypal is accepted. To purchase tickets or make a donation, please contact Kristen Garza at 210-551-6418 or

“We can mail you the tickets, or we can just send you a picture of your ticket via text or email,” Graza said.

The drawing will be held on Facebook Live on June 14. You do NOT need to be present to win. Organizers will contact you via text/call.

Kylie attends Medina Valley High School where she played basketball, ran track, and was involved in FFA.

“She has a long, and hard road to recovery….we need prayers for a miracle,” Barta said.

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To Send Kylie a Birthday Gift…

Kylie will celebrate her 15th birthday in the hospital on May 28th, and so you may also want to send her a card or gift to cheer her up.

Some gift ideas….gifts can be mailed or sent to her at University Hospital addressed to Kylie Knowles. Kylie loves to read (crime/mystery and romance), listen to music, comedy movies (she can watch DVDs on her laptop computer in the hospital). She also loves animals, show pigs, and wants to be a veterinarian or FBI agent when she grows up.

If you want to mail donations or gifts, you can address them to her mother, Karissa Barta, PO Box 313, LaCoste, TX 78039.

Kylie is the daughter of Karissa and Newton Barta, of Lytle, and Ben Knowles of Houston.

By Kayleen Holder