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On July 7, 2016, Justin Bennett’s life changed. While vacationing with family in the Outer Banks, North Carolina, Justin dove into a wave and hit his head on a sandbar and suffered a C4/C5 spinal cord injury; Justin was paralyzed from the chest down.

Justin was air-lifted to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital where he underwent spinal fusion surgery, and for the next two and a half weeks, began his recovery; Justin was then flown to Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia, where he stayed for the next three months to endure strenuous physical and occupational therapy. Justin returned to Richmond in early November 2016 and since that time, has continued his physical and occupational therapy at Sheltering Arms Rehabilitation Hospital. In addition, Justin has added four (4) intensive strength building workout sessions to his weekly therapy programs. Justin continues to progress and gets stronger every day.

Updates (3)

September 20, 2018

See Help Hope Live's interview with Justin in honor of Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month:

July 29, 2018

July 28, 2016 Shepherd Center - Learning the Puff Method to Operate a Power Wheelchair

Photo Galleries (3)

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January 1, 2024

I love you very much and am so proud of you!


Kathy Grogan

December 3, 2022

I’m so proud of your progress and your “no-quit” attitude! Love you with all of my heart! Mom

Kathy Grogan

December 26, 2020

Sending you some support through this holiday season. We love you and are always so proud of you. Lots of hugs and kisses, the Lugo family.

Lisa Lugo