Newlywed Rochester resident paralyzed by crash; fundraiser slated

ROCHESTER — Graeme Crowther had to work on Halloween 2007, and his girlfriend Cristina was disappointed that she would be handing out candy alone. So she was surprised when she answered the door to find him holding a bunch of flowers. First the trick and then the treat.

He proposed to her.

In July, 2008, the Rochester couple, who had been dating for seven years, married. They honeymooned in Jamaica.

But within weeks, the honeymoon was over. While heading into work at 5 a.m. on Aug. 24, Crowther lost control of his vehicle. He rolled down an embankment on Route 43 in Deerfield. A passing motorist stopped to help, and Crowther told him to call Cristina at her mother's house in Dover.

Cristina explained "I'm not sure she (mother) was even off the phone before we were in the car tracking down which hospital he was being transported to."

Unaware that her husband had been involved in a rollover, she found out, after reaching the hospital, that he couldn't feel his lower extremities. Crowther was immediately transported to Mass General, but he had suffered a complete spinal cord injury at the C6-C7 level (near the top of the spine), and was paralyzed.

"I never lost consciousness during the accident," Crowther explains. "After the surgery, my situation became more apparent, and my immediate feeling was, and is, I am the one percent. Meaning that I will beat any odds."