posted Jun 10, 2013
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."