WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | News

ONLY ON WEAU: Swimmer walks again after injuring spinal cord

(WEAU) - Last October, 26 year-old swimmer Michael Moulton was diagnosed a C-6 quadriplegic after a diving accident at Ray’s Beach.

For months he was only able to move his shoulders and biceps.

But, he takes us back to the day the accident happened and how miracles can come true.

"I remember hitting my head and when I hit my head, I saw a flash of white,” said Michael “Kramer” Moulton.

It was warm day in October when Michael Moulton, 25-years old at the time went to Ray's Beach.

He decided to dive off the dock, but it turned out he dove into water only 3 feet deep.

That's when everything got scary.

"We got an emergent MRI which shows right there, you can see the fragment of bone going back into where his spinal cord is,” said Dr. Jonathan Bledsoe, Neurosurgeon, Mayo Clinic Health System.

Dr. Bledsoe a Neurosurgeon at Mayo Clinic Health System says during the dive Michael injured his spine, leaving him motionless from his shoulders down.

"These lines are where the graph is from where I drilled out that broken body and made sure his canal was completely open and then we turned him over and put the screw in the back and rods to help hold it all together while it healed,” said Bledsoe.

"I woke-up after surgery, couldn't move anything, and I was worried from there on out and then after that. The months went by and everything slowly started to come back,” said Moulton.

It’s almost a year later, and at Ray's Beach there were no swimmers to be found. But last October it felt just like a summer day, and little did Michael know it would turn into a day of tragedy followed by a miracle.

After about 7 weeks, Michael says he started to move his toes and his feet.

"When I was able to stand and take my first couple steps, it was quite emotional,” said Moulton.

"He came in a wheel chair, stood up and gave me a hug and that still gives me chills,” said Bledsoe.

Moulton wanted to especially thank the following.

"I would like to go on to thank Dr. Jonathan Bledsoe and Dr. David Ciresi and the critical care team at Mayo Health Clinic Health System. The Rehab and Therapy staff at Health East Bethesda and Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute in Minnesota and Sacred Heart Eau Claire and of course my family and countless friends that have helped me get so far. Thank you again," said Moulton.


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