On the evening of Wednesday, July 24th, the Haggerty family was enjoying a great day in Matunuck, Rhode Island before heading to Thailand for Bryan's wedding. It was a picture perfect night, so Kevin and Brendan went down to South Kingston town beach for an evening swim. While out in the water, a set of large waves came in and Kevin–being who he is–took the challenge and caught the wave body surfing. The wave crashed on a very shallow part of the beach, and Kevin was thrown head-first into the shore. Brendan was headed out behind him and noticed that he was face down in the water, and hurried to pull him out of the water.
When he was brought back to shore, they were able to get Kevin to cough up the water he had ingested and get him breathing again. Kevin was conscious, but unable to move his arms or legs. Immediately, a group of people gathered at the scene and circled in prayer around him. This amazing system of support created a very intense spiritual experience for everyone at the beach that evening.
Kevin was evacuated from the beach on a backboard and transferred to Rhode Island Hospital that night. The initial x-ray showed no fractures in the spinal column, but the MRI confirmed that he does have damage to his spinal cord (C3-C-5, hemorrhage in C5). Kevin had a surgery to remove a portion of his vertebrae bone to release pressure and allow extra space for some swelling to occur.
Kevin has an incomplete spinal cord injury and is a quadriplegic. However, it is possible, and it is his goal, that he will someday walk again, he will hug his grandchildren, and he will regain feeling in his hands and legs. This will be a process and will take lots of hard work and time. He has began his journey down the long road to recovery, making slow but steady progress each day. In early August, he was transferred to Gaylord Rehabilitation Hospital in Wallingford, CT, where is continues his full-time rehabilitation regiment.
We have initiated this fundraiser to help cover Kevin's needs and tools for success as he transitions from life in the inpatient rehabilitation hospital to life outside the hospital. These needs will include a new means of transportation, home modifications (ramps, etc.), and other tools that will help make it easier for Kevin to get back to living a normal life at home.
Your support is greatly appreciated by Kevin and the entire Haggerty Family!