NewsCovering Kentucky


Family asks the community to pray for hospitalized Danville wrestler

Danville wrestler, Neon Dion, recovers in hospital from brain hemorrhage
Posted at 6:17 PM, Jun 18, 2024

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Danville wrestler is fighting for his life at UK Hospital after a move he performed sent him into a severe brain hemorrhage, and his fiance and mother share the terrifying moment they witnessed him go unconscious.

Since Wednesday, June 12, Dion Payton, a Danville wrestler, has been in the hospital with a ventilator breathing for him as he recovers from a severe brain hemorrhage. Doctors had to cut out a part of his skull to make room for the swelling.

"It was very fast. Very quick response time. Very fast to the hospital. You know, everything went faster than you could even imagine," recalls Kyla Earles, Payton's mom.

"It's soul-crushing, very heartbreaking, very hard," Samantha Sanders, Payton's fiance, explains.

Dion, or as people in the wrestling community know him, "Neon Dion", faced off with wrestler "The Masked Superstar" on June 14 at the Boyle County Fair.

Sanders recalls how the family wasn't planning on watching Payton wrestle that night: "We were gonna go Saturday night, but we thought 'oh we'll surprise him' because he didn't know we were coming."

Earles explains how the ending is when it all went downhill: "Everything went really well until the actual final move."

A choke-hold slam is what Sanders says Payton's trainer told her 'Neon Dion' performed perfectly.

"Landed. Talked. Rolled over and then went out. Tucked his chin and he landed fine, so we don't know what caused it," details Sanders.

The family was told that Payton was the sickest patient in the hospital.

"You know, after this, he could have no quality of life. Like he could be one in a million, basically make a recovery," said Sanders.

Sanders and Earles describe him as a friendly, goofy guy who loves his family deeply.

"You really can't ask for a better man, wonderful father of three," describes Earles. "It's basically just a waiting game to see if he recovers any."

"He loves to make people smile. Always cracking jokes even when it's serious," said Sanders. "Prayers for a miracle. That's the main thing."

The family created a GoFundMeto help pay for Payton's medical bills while he remains unconscious in the hospital.