Teenager Suffers Rare Spine Injury During Surf Lesson
HONOLULU (Hawaii News Now / Gray News) – A California teenager was unexpectedly injured during a surf lesson in Waikiki earlier this month.
According to Hawaii News Now16-year-old Brandon Louie felt a crunch in his lower back when he jumped on the surfboard.
“He knew immediately that something was wrong,” said his mother, Eunice Louie.
Even though he felt pain in his lower back, Eunice Louie said her son had been riding the wave. Once ashore, he dragged his board across the sand and began to lose sensation in his legs.
“There was no dramatic erasure. There were no crashes on rocks or coral. No reckless behavior, ”the teen’s mother said.
Brandon Louie was diagnosed with surfer’s myelopathy, a very rare form of paralysis triggered by non-traumatic spinal cord injury.
“I think it’s best described as a hit to the spine,” Eunice Louie explained.
Brandon Louie is now paralyzed from the waist down and will have to relearn how to live his daily life.
He was medically evacuated Tuesday from a hospital in Honolulu to a rehabilitation center in Atlanta, Georgia, specializing in spinal cord and brain injuries.
Despite the long road ahead, the teenager’s mother says he tries to stay positive and is inspired by the Olympics.
“On the second day in the hospital, he said, ‘Mom, when can I start training for a Paralympic basketball team?’ ”Said Eunice Louie.
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