Adam H


Salisbury, NC

Injury Level: C5
Injury Date: 7/4/2007


It was a typical Fourth of July scenario -- a group of friends hanging out on a boat on Lake Norman having fun, waiting to watch fireworks. I was among a group of six. The boat had drifted near a sandbar  "I'll get it" -- that's what my friends remember me saying before I dove into the water.

The water was much shallower than I realized, the impact shattered the C5 vertebrae in my neck. In a 3 1/2 hour operation, the neurosurgeon carefully removed the fragments of the destroyed vertebrae and implanted a titanium cage to stabilize my spinal column. There was good news, though; my spinal cord had not been severed, which the doctors had originally feared. Although my body was healing well after the surgery, several days later, the effects of the bacteria-filled lake water began to complicate my recovery in a way no one anticipated. I was put into a medically induced coma and put in a RotoProne bed, which is typically used as a last resort for patients with acute lung injuries. I spent the next month in Trauma ICU at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC.  I was then transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA, a specialty hospital for spinal cord injuries. After spending 7 months at the Shepherd Center learning how to adapt to my new “normal”, I then spent almost a year in traditional physical therapy. My strength and stamina began to increase with each workout.

My goal is simple. I want to walk again. I am optimistic that I will be able to accomplish this task. I can move my arms, wrists, some movement in my legs and I have sensation all over. I’m ready to begin exercise-based therapy and pursue my goal…the opportunity to walk!

Sponsor Adam:  If you would like to support Adam in his quest, send donation to:

                    Haynes Hope Fund
                    c/o Milford Hills Baptist Church
                    1238 E. Colonial Drive
                    Salisbury, NC 28144
                    ** Make checks payable to "Haynes Hope Fund"


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"My name is John Kissane and I have secondary progressive MS. I've been confined to a wheelchair for about 4 years , about the same time I started going to race to walk. I use the wheelchair because I lack balance but I have my strength. Going to race [...]"
— John K.
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