MEET OUR 6 EAST COAST #HIGHFIVESATHLETES WHO RECEIVED GRANT FUNDING IN March 2019
NICK FAIRALL from ANDOVER, NH, ALEX GOLDMEIER from Plainview, NY, AUSTIN HUNT from JEFFERSONVILLE, VT, RYAN MCLAREN from BURLINGTON, VT, MIKE SCHWARZ from CHESTER, VT, DAVID WEINER from SANDY HOOK, CT plus our 4 west Coast Athletes here and 6 Central USA athletes here
On January 5th, 2015, Nick Fairall was competing in the Ski Jumping World Cup in Bischofshofen, Austria. During qualifications, Nick had a great jump that would have qualified him for the round; however, due to the wet snow conditions, his skis stuck in the snow immediately upon landing. As a result, his center of gravity and balance were thrown forward, and upon impact, Nick was certain that he had broken his back. Medical personal arrived immediately to Nick’s aid and rushed him to the local hospital, where he underwent emergency spinal surgery within two hours after the crash.
Since his injury, Nick’s athlete mentality has lead him to new adaptive endeavors. He is currently on the USA Adaptive Water Ski Team and excels as a snow skier as well. These accomplishments have not come without hard work. Nick received a High Fives grant so that he was able to train at the CR Johnson Healing Center for a month while honing his skills on the water in Sacramento, CA in April.
Training at the CR Johnson Training center allows me to maintain a high level of performance while water skiing and snow skiing, and also helps reduce the amount of time I need to recover after an injury. The facility has all the equipment necessary to work on training and performance in the gym and an amazing healing center to focus on rehabilitation and recovery, all in one place.
Alex was skiing and was found on the side of a ski mountain in New York. He crashed and was life-flighted to Albany Medical Center where his family was notified he had sustained injuries to his thoracic spine, heart vessel, kidney, right clavicle and right wrist, ribs, right lung, facial fractures along with suffering a traumatic brain injury. Alex had 2 surgeries in Albany, a stent put in his heart and a lumbar stabilization for a T-4, T-5 fracture and remained there 2 weeks.
Alex is currently a complete paraplegic, but plans to pour everything he has into his recovery, and has zero plans of letting his injury define him.
Just over a year out from his injury, Alex is participating in the New York City Marathon a hand-cycle. In the March grant cycle, the High Fives Foundation is excited to provide personal training sessions at the PEAK Center and a membership to CrossFit WatchTower so that Alex is prepared for his lofty endeavor.
My personal training sessions and Crossfit membership with help me with my training and goals of completing the 2019 NYC marathon. My objective while here in Denver is to gain as much strength and be in the best physical shape as possible. It will also give me great insight while peer mentoring at Craig to help newly injured athletes and help them get back into their active lifestyle’s post injury.
Austin Hunt | Jeffersonville, VT
Austin severely fractured his C4 vertebrae during a downhill skiing accident at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Jackson, WY. He also had a partially dissected vertebral artery that closed off. The artery then opened up and caused a PICA stroke which left him with additional paralysis in his right side. The stroke also caused double vision and impaired hearing in his right side.
Following the stroke, Austin was administered heparin as a blood thinner. He then had a gastrointestinal bleed that took 4 procedures to stop the bleeding. He spent 1-month in intensive care in Idaho Falls, ID.
Austin currently just moved back to Wyoming, but still has a long way to go in his recovery. The High Fives Foundation is covering neuro PT sessions with Jill Runnion, acupuncture sessions with Elements of Health Acupuncture, rent and healing supplements so that he can focus on the grind, rather than the expenses.
This grant will help me by allowing myself to pay the woman who is helping me to get rid of tone from my stoke which will allow me to walk better. Hopefully I’ll be running and jumping again soon!
Ryan McLaren received Locomotor training at Journey Forward, Massage at Body Resolution, Adaptive rowing at Spaulding Hospital.
Ryan was skiing a beautiful day at Mad River Glen on St. Patrick’s Day following an amazing snow storm in Vermont. Unfortunately, the mountain was not forgiving that day and Ryan suffered a burst fracture of the L1 vertebrae and an incomplete spinal cord injury while landing a small drop during a morning run. He was airlifted to University of Vermont Medical Center where he underwent surgery to fuse his T12 to L2 and reduce the compression on his spinal cord.
Following surgery, Ryan was experiencing paralysis below the knees, and after 4 days in the ICU and 2 days as an in-patient, he was transported to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, MA to undergo 8 weeks of acute rehabilitation and begin his path towards recovery.
Pushing boundaries and setting goals has never been a problem for Ryan.
Ryan has been invited to participate in the Vermont City Marathon, which he will use a hand-cycle and no doubt complete. The High Fives Foundation is honored to provide him with therapies to help him accomplish this goal.
Mike sustained a traumatic brain injury while competing in a quarter pipe snowboarding event in 2009.
In the March 2019 grant cycle, Mike received funds to be used toward massage, which will pair well with the intense training that he does on a daily basis.
Mike and his family are huge supporters of the organization. They attend all East Coast events, and routinely present B.A.S.I.C.S. films in their area. B.A.S.I.C.S. is a program that is very close to Mike and he is honored to pass along a positive safety message.
Wow, this presentation was awesome!
#HighFivesAthlete Mike Schwarz speaking about the B.A.S.I.C.S. presentation he hosted in his hometown of Chester, Vermont
After 50 years of downhill skiing, and 25 years of raising his kids in the winter sports, David lost control on some black ice and hit a tree at full speed. He doesn’t remember the impact. He just remembers hitting the ice before and then laying on the slope after with a femur fracture, head wound, compound fracture of his right tibia/fibula and a spinal cord injury.
David has returned to skiing with the help of High Fives, and the grant he received in March will help him to continue to train at Project Walk in Stratham, NH, so that he can keep meeting his recovery and winter sports goals.
Project walk is unique in their expectations and aspirations for their clients. Where traditional recovery facilities only seek to develop strength and mobility above the spinal cord injury Project Walk focuses on recovery and improving functionality above and below the injury.