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Thread: My 20 year old son was recently injured

  1. #1

    My 20 year old son was recently injured

    On 7/16 my son was injured in a diving accident. We feel so blessed that he is not paralyzed. The note below describes what happened. He seems to be regaining strength in his hands. He is taking Lyrica for the pain in his hands and forearms. The doctors think there is a good chance for full recovery. I hope his pain goes away too. Again reading some of the posts, I feel so blessed that Zane was so lucky. I wish the best for all.


    I feel like I’ve aged 10 years in the last week. Here’s the whole story. Zane was up fishing with his buddies on a lake on the Canadian border north of Grand Marais last Monday evening. They were at friends cabin that is on the Canadian half on the lake. They were jumping off of a sauna that was right next to the lake. Zane slipped as he was diving and didn’t get out far enough and went head first down into a rock on the bottom in about 5-6 feet of water. His friend fortunately saw this happen and jumped in and pulled Zane out of the lake. The kids were 10 miles from the landing which was on the US side of the lake. The neighbor had an 18 foot Lund with a 150 hp motor that they used to get Zane to the landing. The US side of the lake was actually restricted to 25hp or less motors so they got a few looks as they roared across the lake. The boys Zane was with did a wonderful job of keeping him stable. He was talking on the trip but he doesn’t remember any of it. He was ambulanced to Grand Marais and then helicoptered to Duluth and arrived at Saint Marys Hospital around 10PM Monday night.

    I got word of this around 9:30 and hit the road for Duluth. I first talked to the ER doctor in Grand Marais who told me Zane had hit his head but should make a full recovery. It turns out they didn’t know how severe things were. When I got ahold of the surgeon in Duluth he told me Zane had broken his neck and injured his spine and basically prepared me for Zane being paralyzed in some fashion. When I got to Duluth at 1:30 AM Zane had been rolled into the operating room 5 minutes earlier. I paced back in forth in front of the operating room door until 6AM when a nurse came out and told me they had finished the neck surgery and were starting on the head injury. She didn’t want to say anything about the paralysis issue and left that for the surgeon. At about 8AM the surgeon came out after repairing the skull and let me know for the first time that Zane wasn’t paralyzed and there was a good chance for recovery. I can’t even describe the emotions of the night and that moment, but needless to say I’d rather not go through this ever again!

    Zane ended up with a fractured skull that had a huge dent in it. He also crushed his C7 vertebrae, broke the C6, and demolished the disc in between. They ended up fusing C6 to C7 and eliminated the disc. He also broke his T2 vertebrae, but they decided to let it heal on its own. In talking to the surgeon I had originally thought he had broken a piece of his skull loose as the surgeon told me he had to remove a piece of the skull and then replace it. But what happened was the skull was dented so severely that they actually cut the dented piece out, (about 2” diameter) reshaped it and then put it back in place. The surgeon told me he took it over to his “work bench” and pounded it back into shape.

    The surgeon told me Zane is the luckiest kid he’s ever operated on, as he has never seen a case this severe not end up in paralysis. The area of the spine Zane damaged controls the hands and forearms. He has full motion with both arms and hands, but he lost a lot of strength and is experiencing some fairly severe nerve pain in his forearms and hands. He is on nerve pain meds as well as narcotics for general pain. He has regained some strength in his grip and the doctors think there is a chance he could recover all his strength. I’m a little concerned about the nerve pain as I’ve read of cases where it doesn’t go completely away, but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

    Zane was actually released from the hospital over the weekend and is at home. He will have outpatient therapy at Sister Kenney for a few months.

    All in all we are so damn lucky it is unbelievable. One of Zane friends mother sent him a few scratch cards figuring with his luck he’d probably win a million.

    I’m back at work now and will keep you updated on Zane’s progress.

    Your aged friend

  2. #2
    Welcome, welcome...
    We are very glad to hear that Zane will recover & hope that all goes good for him.
    Each SCI is unique and you'll have to see how the pain factor goes ....
    Kevin ,my Husband is 5 years post SCI & although the pain is stil present is manageable without any analgesics.

    All the best for your entire family & specially Zane

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Tallahassee, FL

    Wink He did WIN

    Trust me... he already won the Lotto. and glad he did.
    Mike (Florida)

    Cant we get 1 do over?

  4. #4
    He did, he won the lottery! It's more common than you think. One of our members here, his brother jumped off the barn and broke his neck at C2, C. Reeve's level, and walked away when they were kids. 10 years later Carl wrecked his truck, and his neck at c7. No walking away.

    It's a roll of the dice. I'm so glad to hear your son came up a winner! If you're reading Carecure, I bet you're counting your blessings!

  5. #5
    Thanks for your replies, and I agree that what Zane won was worth a whole lot more than the lottery!!! Zane is also a type I diabetic and it tore my heart out when I was convinced he was also going to be dealing with paralysis.

    Mike - In reading through the posts on this site I came across your's a few times, and your tag line "Cant we get 1 do over?" touched my heart. I've watched my father and my wifes father die of cancer in the last year, and the emotions were terrible. But with age and a pro-longed disease it was very different from what I felt when I was convinced Zane was paralyzed. When this type of injury happens in just an instant, to a young and perfectly healthy child, I had such an overwhelming sense of wanting to turn the clock back and make things like they were. I feel so unbelievably blessed that Zane came through this as fortunately as he did.

    My heart goes out to all who weren't as lucky. I have always prayed for a cure for diabetes, I will now add a cure for spinal cord injuries to my prayers!

    Your friend - Dan

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Tallahassee, FL

    Thanks Dan From Mike

    Yes, Dan some of dont get the chance... we dont get a do ov er and it is very sad and hard life. I have 3 teen kids. All are affected so severely it would break yiour heart to see it. I got the unlucky roll. I ran off the road at 20 MPH amd am permenently paralized and live in terrible pain 24-7. Burning Pins and needles pain... it never goes away. My kids are all in Theraphy , my 17 year old son does not have a freind in the world... neither does my 1 daughter. Because they see me in such pain, and all our money has gone. we are litterally broke, no hope for much but... we still go on. I would say you should take every chance you get to remember us how dont get the second chance and tell your freinds about us. We are back here... and will always be back here. You and your son and family will move forward and forget about us.... and that is great, becasue it means you did win.... and win big. Tell our freinds how you know people that can never move forward and how it could have been. When they complain abut the normal little nothings in, life... the ones most people whine and bitch about.... tell them, they should not do that... tell them about us left behind. We have something to complain about!!! anyone else... I dont think really should complain. A spinal Cord injury family.. lives in the back of life.... I am truly glad you get to move on. Be happy but remember us here in the back... just once in a while... give us a thought! Live Well. Mike
    Mike (Florida)

    Cant we get 1 do over?

  7. #7
    Whew... Mike! Man, my heart goes out to you and your kids.

    I'm a C1-2, vent dependent, and just "celebrated" (not exactly) my 10th anniversary of becoming injured... but I realize I'm lucky and blessed in several ways, the biggest of which are my family hasn't incurred too much "collateral damage" from my injury and I have no pain.

    All I can say is God bless y'all and if I ever win the financial lottery, somehow I'd love to help you. That may sound like a BS promise, but if I didn't remember (hey, I think what I just read is gonna stick with me for quite some time!) if you were to e-mail me occasionally and ask if I won the lottery, if I did, I'd say "By the grace of God I did -- and I'm coming to Tallahassee to help you and your kids!"

    Obviously the odds aren't real high, but I'm serious.

    I'll also keep Mike Bauer and his three teen kids in my prayers.


    Bill Miller
    Wheelchair users -- even high-level quads... WANNA BOWL?

    I'm a C1-2 with a legit 255 high bowling game.

  8. #8

    God's Blessings for you Mike

    I am so sorry it has worked out like this for you. My 18 year old was just injured at the t-5 level and is now paralyzed from the chest down. He feels as you do. I don't know how his dad and I will pay for things either. Financially we were already at the edge, this I am afraid, will tip us over. But, we have each other and we have faith. When I am praying for a miracle for my family I will also pray for one for you too.

  9. #9
    Hey everyone,
    I'm new to this site. AND I am new to the SCI community, because my 20 year old son recently broke his neck. All he can do is bend his elbows and shrug his shoulders.
    I guess I'm still in the mom's got to fix things stage. And, right now that means I'm looking everywhere I can to find the help he needs.
    I don't know how we're going to pay for everything he needs, but I believe God will help us there, as well as the fundraisers we have had and will have to raise the monies needed.
    In the meantime I'm also investigating everything I possibly can to help him--no matter how remotely stupid it may sound.
    And, as I told my son--"It's that fantastic jump in and to hell with the consequences attitude that got you where you're at--thru everything he's experienced, that will get him through this now." He's got to jump in and fight with everything he's got the same way he's fought thru his life to get where he is now. And, mom will be right there cheering him on thru the whole ordeal and beyond.
    Because he is my son and I love him with all my heart.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    last house on the left


    Debbie, As far as I am concerned your son is one lucky boy to have you for a mom! I could only have hoped for a mom that is as supportive as you are. I have been SCI for a very long time, and while it hasn't always been easy by any means, it has not prevented me from having a pretty full life. I was able to go to school, worked, travelled internationally, and had romance too. It was one of those "loved and lost" things, but hey, that's the nature of the human condition, and I don't think it had much to do with my disability. Now I live alone (with two kitties) and am satisfied with that too. Actually, there are times that I think I like it best. I get some help with things like grocery shopping and heavy cleaning, and now live in a condo specifically so that I do not have to worry about maintainence of the property itself. There is always someone around to help me through the doors or to carry stuff if I need them to. I wish the very best for you and your son. Tell him for me he is lucky to have you and if he ever forgets it there is someone in Massachusetts, although a little old for adoption, would be very happy to have you as a mom.

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