Thomas S


Goose Creek, SC

Injury Level: C6/7
Injury Date: 5/31/2008


My girlfriend and I were riding my jet ski back to the shore at a company get together at the lake.  As we idled in towards the beach I was the passenger and told her I was going to jump in. There were others waiting to go out next so I figured I’d let her take the ski all the way in while I cooled off in the water.  I jumped off towards the rear of the ski in a back dive.  I misjudged the distance and hit my neck on the hull breaking my C6/7 vertebrae.  I was conscious upon impact and my lifejacket kept me afloat as I was face down in the water.  Initially I was unable to move my arms or legs and subsequently drowned. My girlfriend realized I was in trouble and pulled me out of the water. CPR was conducted on the beach and I was sent to MUSC in Charleston, SC.  Doctors inserted two rods and a plate to stabilize my neck.  I flat lined once more at MUSC during the procedure to insert a central venous catheter and was defibrillated. 

I was later transferred to Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA.  I spent 4 months doing physical and occupational therapy and learning to adjust to living in a wheelchair.  After returning home I continued traditional therapy for several months until they ran out of things to do with me. I then started doing an exercise-based regimen at home and continued to increase my strength and stability. My goal is to get back on my feet, walk, and then run as I once did. I know it will be a long road but I am confident and ready to work.  

Sponsor Thomas:  If you would like to support Thomas in his quest, please go to the donation page to make a contribution.  Make sure to include note with your donation "for Thomas S."


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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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