Away from work, he spends his time with friends playing golf, skiing, hunting, fishing and helping those in need. Across the community, Gavin is know to lend a helping hand where needed and to brighten up any conversation.
On the afternoon of Sunday August 19, Gavin was spending the day at his family's camp located on Oneida Lake when he suffered a tragic diving accident which would completely change the course of his life. Upon taking a dive into the lake, Gavin dove through a large inner tube, a simple trick he had performed hundreds of times before. But this time, his waist got caught in the hole of the tube upon entry, causing him to plunge straight down to the bottom the of shallow lake. Shortly after performing the trick, Gavin's cousin Jenna noticed that he was floating on his stomach in the water. He was able to move his shoulders enough to call to his cousin "HELP, I can't feel anything, please tell me I'm not paralyzed!". Instantly, Jenna grabbed Gavin and began supporting his neck, calling his family to help her move him out of the water. Around 15 minutes following the incident, the local fire department arrived, getting him out of the water and onto an emergency airlift to University Hospital in Syracuse, New York for immediate medical attention.
Upon arriving at the hospital, doctors rushed to identify the extent of the damage and to get Gavin into surgery. Following an initial MRI, results showed that the C7 vertebra was completely shattered along with significant damage done to both the C5 and C6 vertebrae. In short, Gavin's spinal cord was left severely bruised leaving him with no feeling or movement below his chest.
To date, Gavin has undergone two major surgeries to remove, repair and replace the three damaged vertebrae in his neck. Unfortunately, despite the surgeries he has undergone, he currently remains paralyzed from the chest down.
Starting in the beginning of September, Gavin will be spending between 3-6 months at Spaulding Rehabilitation Center in Boston, Massachusetts. In rehab, Gavin will be working to retrain his neurological system so that he may walk once again.
His parents, Joe and Sandy Maloney, say his attitude is extraordinarily positive and that he has vowed to walk once again. We all believe that Gavin will be able to recover miraculously, despite the challenges that lie ahead. With each day of neurological repair and healing, Gavin will meet the challenge of sensation, movement, control, and learning to walk once again!
Between two surgeries, insurance deductibles, extended hospital care, non-covered expenses and 3-6 months of rehabilitation, Gavin's hospital bills will be astronomical. The Maloney’s do have some insurance, but nowhere near enough to cover the burdensome expenses that lie ahead. If you can find it in your heart, please consider donating to help Gavin with his medical bills.
Please keep Gavin in your prayers. Our God is a God of stupendous miracles!
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you all!
The Maloney Family
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