WAXAHACHIE — A loving father of two, husband, brother and friend, a staple in the community, an inspiration to many and a lover of all things Whataburger is just a short description of beloved Waxahachie Daily Light Photojournalist Scott Dorsett.
The latter of the qualities mentioned above was on full display Monday, Nov. 21.
On Aug. 24, Dorsett was struck by a car while jogging and within 90 days has proved to doctors, surgeons and the world that miracles do happen.
Monday morning, Dorsett was surprised by Whataburger’s DFW central marketing coordinator Sheila Willis, southeast Dallas marketing coordinator Julie Bethel, Area Manager for Glenn Heights, Red Oak and Waxahachie Corey Douglas and general manager of Whataburger on Ferris Avenue Reuben Cole. The team brought a beaming smile to Dorsett’s face as well as two large tote bags packed full of Whataburger memorabilia.
“Our home office reached out to me and mentioned that Scott Brooks wanted to do this for Scott Dorsett. They told us Scott’s story, and we just wanted to make this special for him,” Willis said. “I know Julie has worked with him in the past and I told her this would be perfect because it’s a familiar face and that we needed to find everything orange, white and Whataburger we could. We had to come out and be a part of this.”
Bethel quickly agreed to the idea and explained to Willis how much of an impact Dorsett has made in the Waxahachie community throughout the years. The Whataburger representatives gift totes included t-shirts, gift cards, signature sauces, two baseball caps, a Yeti cup, spirit towel, blanket, and much more.
“I didn’t know why I didn’t think of doing something like this before because I knew he’s a Whataburger fan. Sheila dug back into stuff we had from years and years ago, some of it being things only the employees had who attended conventions and what not like the Whataburger cookie jar and the flip flops,” Bethel said.
Dorsett’s wife Johnna and daughter Kennedy expressed their thankfulness for what Whataburger has done and stressed Dorsett’s love for the restaurant.
“No lie, Scott goes to Whataburger every day. He will go shoot his photos, he’ll do his edits, and then he will go to Whataburger. We call it his midnight Whataburger run for fun because he always goes so late at night,” Johnna said.
Fortunately, a Whataburger location opened nearby the Dorsett’s home which Johnna jokingly described as a “relief.”
“Sometimes we’ll be sleeping, and he will sneak out of the house real quietly to go get food,” Kennedy explained.
Though he might be temporarily confined to hospital grounds, his family and friends never fail to bring him his favorite meals and sometimes even use the food as his motivator for therapy.
“This weekend he woke up and I told him if he did something in therapy that I would get him some taquitos and he just got after it. We can bribe him easily with it,” Johnna stated. “Somebody who knew him well brought us Whataburger gift cards when the accident first happened, and it was one of the first things we used when he was able to eat again.”
Recognizing her brother's affinity for Whataburger, Dorsett’s sister, Barbara Podmajersky, prepared Dorsett for his Monday morning surprise.
“This morning we told him we had a surprise for him downstairs and of course we all know he doesn’t like surprises, but I know it meant the world to him. Kennedy has sat on the couch in the room with him and has taken everything out of the two bags and shown her daddy everything they gave him. They have tossed the Whataburger football and baseball back and forth. They’ve had the best time up there,” Podmajersky said.
Almost immediately after returning from his surprise, Dorsett requested his favorite Whataburger meal in which he would quickly receive.
“He asked me for Whataburger and told me what he wanted. His eyes were starting to shut and he was getting tired so I asked him if he would be awake when I returned and he told me that I better hurry,” Johnna joked.
At a loss for words, Johnna shared that what the company did for Dorsett was “simply amazing.”
“It was great. It was crazy and I just don’t really have words to express. There’s probably a lot of people who love Whataburger and it’s just so nice for them to come out to do this for him,” Johnna explained. “I get emotional about it. He’s normally the guy behind the camera and I’m his silent partner and we’ve just been bombarded by people trying to help and coming out of the woodworks.”
Kelsey Poynor, @KPoynor_WDL