Send Steven to College!

12 March, 2018
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 When Steven was 6 years old he went into foster care, he was in and out of many different homes. Teased, bullied and frequently call him names then beaten up. He had a difficult time with school and had a traumatic childhood where he was physically and mentally abused. However, he did find a home where he was able to stay until the bright age of 34.

Steven’s story begins on June 25th, 2002 on a trip to the river he was running in the sand working his way towards the water. No more than a foot from the water he fell hitting his chin against the sand and felt a pop in his neck. Everything went black, his eye sight returned but he was instantly paralyzed. He was left face down in the water assuming he was going to drown. Luckily bystanders in the area came to his rescue pulling him up and out of the water until paramedics arrived. He was 18.

From there he was life-lighted to Legacy Emanuel where calls were made and everyone including his foster and biological parents rushed to the hospital to see him. No one was allowed to touch him as his neck had been shattered into millions of tiny bone fragments. Steven underwent surgery and along with it he was faced with every emotion you could possibly imagine. From wanting to die, wanting to be left alone and even resorting to severe self-isolation at times. He was told by every doctor that he would never walk again, but a determined Steven told the doctors it was possible and he would do it. After three months in the hospital and six years in a wheel chair he was left with nothing and still, could not walk. Now he required help with everything, from bathing, eating, using the restroom, transferring in and out of his wheel chair, and every other luxury you enjoy on a regular basis. He was starting from scratch.

He had to relearn everything from walking, trying to cook, bathing himself, learning to use the restroom independently, and all the basic functions we all take for granted. He went to physical therapy to regain his ability to walk and restore some use in the back of his hands. He still cannot open his hands all the way so they remain closed a majority of the time. He struggles to grip a lot of things and can’t carry heavy items. He still requires help from others, including help with walking. His ability to walk fully is still absent and when he attempts to do so he tilts sideways. He requires a full time cane and still loses his balance with the occasion of falling to the ground and injuring himself at times. He frequently becomes tired while walking and often needs a shopping cart to help him walk, for balance. Some days he is too tired and resorts to his wheel chair which he manually operates himself. It’s taken Steven over two years of physical therapy to start walking again then added leg braces for a couple years and finally finished with two years of crutches. Even then, that’s only gotten him out of his wheelchair about half of the time and the other half he still requires the cane.

He is a C-5 incomplete quadriplegic. Which means his restrictions include being unable to drive, walk regularly, and at times speaking becomes a challenge as well.   Due to those and the other disabilities listed above he fears he will never own his own home and especially not one equipped with hand rails and other necessities he needs. He’s disappointed he isn’t able to work like the rest of society, due to his limitations and health aspects, but wants to be a role model for others and help them conquer difficulties they may be faced with that he believes can and will be turned around. He believes that although you may never be who you once were, there is always room to grow and become a better version of yourself. He aspires to help everyone as much as he can whether that’s to be a guiding hand, a lent ear, or a person of inspiration.

His goals are to be able to help other people through motivational speaking, one on one with people who need help, travel to help others in need of a push and a companion if need be.

Things he likes to do are: playing with his RC truck, fixing it and doing repairs on it himself, drawings, cooking, being outdoors, swimming and hot tubs, video games, playing wheel chair rugby, building things, hanging out with family, friends, camping and fishing.


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