Kyle was an E4 diesel mechanic in the US Marine Corps. Deployed to Afghanistan in 2012. Honorably discharged in 2014, he moved to Mount Ulla and started working as a diesel mechanic in Charlotte.
“I started at Piedmont Community College for the Gunsmithing program to better my future. I am originally from Pacifica, CA. I went back to CA on 10/13/17 to attend a friend’s wedding and visit family. We went to the rodeo 10/14/17 and afterward, we decided to ride the mechanical bull. My younger brother went first without incident. I was next and was thrown off, landing on my head and experienced immediate paralysis because my C4 dislocated C5 and pinched my spinal cord. I was taken by ambulance to San Francisco General and had surgery where they fused C3 to C6 to best preserve and heal my spinal cord.
I was in the hospital for one month with minor speech, occupational and physical therapies. At that time, I needed round the clock care. When S.F. General could not give the treatment I needed, I was airlifted to spinal cord rehab at Healthsouth, Rock Hill, SC. There I received speech, occupational and physical therapy.
Unfortunately, insurance would not pay for more than one month of therapy. From there, I went back to Mount Ulla and started PT at the VA for three months. They are not set up for spinal cord injuries. Through rehabilitation, I am able to move my arms and obtain some finger movement.
This grant would cover costs that we are unable to cover. It would be a blessing to be able to have physical therapy to help with improvements in my body and mind, and not have my family worry about this.