17-Year-Old Left Paralyzed From the Neck Down After Backflip: 'You Don't Expect That Call'
A California 17-year-old is paralyzed after doing a backflip and landing on his head.
Ashton Fritz was at church camp in San Diego in July when the tragedy occurred. His mother, Sarah Fritz, said the experience is every parent’s worst nightmare.
“You don’t expect that call," Fritz told InsideEdition.com. "It’s something you read about with somebody else but we are living it so it has been hard to see our baby go through this. He awoke pretty quickly with no feelings in his arms and legs."
Ashton was paralyzed from the neck down, but he has regained some movement in his biceps and some sensations in his forearms and legs during his stay at UC San Diego Medical Center.
Doctors say they are not sure how much movement he will regain as his injuries are to the C4 and C5 vertebrae.
Fritz said she hopes to get her son to the Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colo., which specializes in treating spinal injuries.
But, the transfer will cost money and they aren’t sure their insurance will cover the costs. A family friend has started a GoFundMe page to help raise the money needed to cover his medical costs.
So far, the family’s GoFundMe has raised nearly $50,000.
Fritz is proud of her son’s outlook throughout the tough process.
“For a 17-year-old, he has remained positive and focused," she said. "He had been down to the Christian camp two years in a row. He hasn’t been outspoken with his faith but it has grounded him with knowing that there is a higher plan."
The family said they are also thinking how much the future will cost. They know they will need help.
“There is the cost of rehab," Fritz said. "There is medical equipment. There will be a wheelchair. There is having a house that will accommodate him, a shower that will work for him and then long-term outpatient therapy as well.”
What the road ahead holds, Fritz said she does not know.
“We are pushing to get him to the best rehabilitation in the country,” Fritz said. “We’re amazed at his progress. He’s getting some twitches in his legs. It doesn’t mean that he is going to walk in three weeks, but we want to take every opportunity to give him the best rehab. Right now we are in limbo.