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On June 9, 2019, Cory Goral was enjoying a fun family weekend on the Colorado River, just outside of Blythe. He had been diving off the dock along with other family members all weekend, until the next dive went all wrong. Cory hit his head on the bottom, unable to move, he held his breath in hopes that someone would retrieve him from the water before floating downriver and drowning. Thankfully, family members rushed over to fish him out. They checked his vitals and supported his neck until the paramedics arrived and airlifted him to the hospital.

He was thereafter intubated and underwent neck surgery the next day. Cory fractured every cervical vertebra and is now fused from occiput (base of his skull) to T1. Communication for the week following his injury consisted of eye blinking and a whiteboard of a few commands based on the number of blinks, followed by more than a month of lip reading with a trach in to help him breathe.

Updates (8)

December 2, 2020
December 1, 2020

Hi there, we hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It was quiet here. The weather has turned chilly so Cory has his hood on permanently for the next five months. I should save myself the time and effort and forgo giving him hair cuts until the weather warms up again 😉

Cory’s therapy routine continues to adapt. In addition to the usually home routine, he goes to PT every Monday for an hour and does an online zoom workout for quads every Wednesday/Friday afternoon. These have been great additions! He’s making new strength and range of motion gains. It’s motivating to see the improvements and to see him expand his network in the SCI community.

Cory’s equipment needs some repairs, it’s been a fight of patience and persistence to get things addressed. What was just an annoying error code on his wheelchair a couple months ago has now turned into an urgent matter. Cory’s chair powers itself off nearly every time he goes to tilt back into a weight shift. The only way we’ve found to get him out of a tilt is to power cycle the master switch 5 or more times until the chair wakes up. Cory cannot be left alone right now without being stranded! The equipment vendor sent a technician 3 weeks ago and they needed to order a part. Yet, here we are still waiting. We will now be calling Numotion every day until his chair is fixed.

Earlier this month, we enjoyed some sunshine down in Dana Point. It was a nice change of scenery for a quick overnight getaway. We strolled along the ocean cliffs and watched the waves with our parents.

Thank you for following our journey and we wish you happy healthy holidays!

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October 19, 2020

Hope is one of my favorite subjects- it reminds me of Jesus Christ and some of my favorite Bible verses. May you have His living hope. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬ Thanks be to Him for helping hope live.

Laurie Ward