Sonny West, one of the original “Memphis Mafia,” friend and bodyguard for sixteen years with Elvis Presley, has been transferred from a Vanderbilt hospital to a state run rehabilitation center in Tennessee. He is unable to speak due to his ventilator and tracheotomy.
Sonny and his wife Judy, who were married in December 1970 in Memphis (Best Man was Elvis and Matron of Honor was Priscilla Presley), have two children, Bryan and Alana. Judy is awaiting upcoming surgery for breast cancer.
The Wests “are in dire need of financial assistance,” son Bryan said. “Both of them are fighting càncer.
My dad has a Tracheotomy and recently transferred to a rehab facility. There are steep co-pays right around the corner for his care. Insurance covers only first 60 days.”
West is the cousin of Red West and met Elvis at Humes High School in Memphis. He later worked for Elvis as a bodyguard and actually lived in Graceland for a period of time. Some of his supporting roles in Elvis movies were in “Kid Galahad” and “Stay Away, Joe.”
Judy was in such movies as “King Kong,” “Gatling Gun” with John Wayne’s son Patrick. She also appeared in such classic television shows such as “The Jackie Gleason Show,” “MASH” and “The Beverly Hillbillies.” She recently received a phone call from Max Bare, Jr. who played Jethro Bodine in the “Beverly Hillbillies.”
“My parents attempted to settle on the foreclosure on their home, but was declined,” Bryan explains in a GoFundMe account set up to help his parents. “The full amount owed is all that will be accepted. My parents are being charged a $1,600 penalty each month besides the $1,100 mortgage. That is $2,700 a month being added to total amount due. My dad isn’t even getting the best care available because my parents financial status. Dads in a state run facility. He’s not receiving the proper care he desperately deserve(s).”
“My mom has a surgery coming up to remove the remaining cancer. Shortly after the surgery, she will start radiation,” Bryan said.
A family friend known as Lisa Disa contacted “The 700 Club” in an effort to help the Wests.
“A film crew and reporter were supposed to be in Nashville Monday to do on camera interviews at home and then at the rehab hospital with Sonny,” Disa said. “Sonny cannot speak…(it’s his) “dream to share his walk and testimony with others. I did not know that when I emailed The 700 Club. I just think their life stories are heartwarming, gut wrenching, inspirational and encouraging. They are the epitome of strong faith and love. I did not know they watch Christian Broadcasting and The 700 Club every day.”
“My mom has an upcoming surgery for her breast càncer. If you are able to contribute to this Gofundme campaign, it would be greatly appreciated. I’m asking to please help my parents,” Bryan pleads. “This is the most difficult struggle, worry and concern we as a family have ever dealt with. To witness the stress from them regarding the càncer and thought of losing their home brings me to tears. I’m doing everything I’m able to do in helping and being there for them. I’ll make sure to post updates on the Gofundme page. Thank you.”