This video clip taken in August, 2011 is of Zack Collie "walking" with the help of 2 trainers. He is being held up by a trainer instead of using a "walker." As you can see it takes all his energy to walk in this short video. Zack broke his neck and was paralyzed instantly on May 31, 2010. Keep it up Zack!
Zack was voted Jr. Homecoming Prince at his high school (YLHS) for 2011. He wasn't sure what to think at 1st but it ended up being a fun experience.
They took group pictures one evening, had a few practice runs, 2 Rally's the day of the homecoming game (where they crowned the senior King). Then that night was the football game where Zack & court went out to the field at 1/2 time, and the senior Queen was crowned. The football team won! (undefeated I believe).
After being gone (2) summers and missing his whole Sophomore year Zack is "Back to School" as a Jr. this year. He goes (3) days a week to YLHS and we continue to drive to Carlsbad for physical therapy (2) days. We still have a teacher come to the home to help him with school work. Zack's favorite part of school is 6th period wrestling where he helps keep score and gets to hangout with friends. He also talked his brother Levi into joining the team. He says its definitely different being back in high school after injury, but he's adjusting. A bus comes and picks him up he did not like that idea! but its a nice break for me (and my back) so he agreed to it. As you look through the attached photos check out Zack's art work!! Remember this is traced by a boy who has VERY LITTLE movement in his fingers and just held a pencil again for the 1st time since a try in the hospital a year ago! Zack's never been into art much, but was selected as a elective he could try and I must say he sure impressed me!! Thank you to those who have been praying specifically for finger movement. Zack would love to have more of that along with wrists and triceps...and more (of course) Please keep praying!
P.S. Zack traced the drawings shown in the photos, but still amazing to me!
Here are some photos from a Huge spinal cord injury (SCI) event we went to Sat nite (over 1,000 people). Zack went upfront and "stood" he said he wished he'd done better but since the event was outside he was cold and stiff.
Zack wheeled up front with his brother Levi who held up a red shaped Stop sign that read "Have you ever dove into a wave? I did" Then with help from 2 trainers he was lifted out of his wheelchair and "stood" at that time Levi flipped the sign that read "And I never gave up or lost Hope." He got a huge applause, very powerful, moving and bittersweet to me as a lot of things with Zack are to me. I was just proud of him that he even did it!
We ended our summer with a trip to Knotts Berry Farm. Zack went once earlier in the year but was not able to go on any rides, so this time he was ready!
The 1st ride he wanted to go on was some Crazy upside down, legs dangling roller coaster that I looked at and said "No way" but he insisted. Since I did get the "thumbs up" from his Dr. (that he can go on rides) I gave in, but it still feels scary to me. As we approached the area a guy working there asked us a few ?'s obviously concerned about Zack going on the ride. Zack says "I'm fine." The guy clearly was not completely comfortable with that answer but hesitantly let us through and thanks to Zack's friend (Jason) before the guy could change his mind we were already putting him on the ride! There he went on a roller coaster that I wouldn't go on and I'm a healthy "able-bodied" person! He was all smiles when he arrived back on the platform again and I think he would have tried to go again BUT he said part way through his leg kicked out and was extended for the 1st half of the ride he said he was afraid that the other leg was going to do the same thing, in that case he could of slid down in his seat! NOT TO WORRY he was seat belted in and I made sure there was a support bar in between his legs. I think this actually added to the fun for Zack!
The other crazy ride was the one in the photos below there strapped in to a "swing" and then they go who knows how high up and swing around and around. I'm sure they could see our house from up there it was so high! Zack said it was cold and windy by the time they got to the top! So, if you're afraid of heights don't go on that one!
It was a fun evening and I hope to go again. I just wish Zack was ok with just watching when it comes to some of these rides! Ya right!!!
When Zack was 1st injured we met other parents and "boys" who were injured before Zack, they helped walk us through the hardest time. One of the boys was Brian Goodwin he was the one who at 17 years old ran into the ocean at Newport Beach, 42nd St. (same as Zack) and was also instantly paralyzed. He has now been injured 4 years. Brian had come to visit Zack at Casa Colina and Ill never forget Brian wheeling himself into Zack's room with the biggest smile on his face. I have to say in that moment I didn't know to smile or cry, the reality of Brian then 3 years post injury sitting in a wheelchair was very hard for me. But I instantly liked his positive attitude and the fact he'd come to visit my son. Since that day Brian has become like a older brother to Zack.
In one picture below it shows Zack, Claire and Brian. Claire was both Brian and Zack's occupational therapist at Casa it was a bittersweet (for me anyway) reunion between the 3 of them.
So in my head I always knew one day we would try and give back and visit anyone who also had a unfortunate accident like Zack. But I was not pre-pared to meet Kody! .Kody is 16 years old .Both boys are Jr.s in High school .On Memorial weekend of 2011 (Zack Memorial day 2010) .Kody ran into the ocean and broke his neck by hitting a sandbar and was instantly paralyzed .He broke his neck at C-4 (same as Zack) .He has a 14 year old brother (same as Zack) .He ended up at Casa Colina .Same hospital room .Same Dr. .Same case worker .Same OT (Claire) .Same PT (physical therapists team)
It was a very strange feeling walking into Kody/Zack's hospital room decorated with posters and pics like Zack had done. Kody has now been released from Casa and is home. He will be going to Project Walk if all goes as planned. I hope to be of service to Kody's family as I truly feel the heartache they are going through. The boys "timeline" is identical. I look fw to seeing Kody progress this next year as he continues his own recovery process.