Steph is a 19-year-old college athlete who has touched many people along his basketball journey in Ottawa, Rwanda, Uganda, and Oklahoma. The most recent chapter in his story brought him to York University in Nebraska, where he was a Freshman. On the morning of Sunday, October 23rd, Stephane was the passenger in a car accident and suffered major trauma to his cervical spine from extreme whiplash.
The most severe injuries are the major fractures to his cervical vertebrae. C5, C6, & C7 have very severe fractures; more minor fractures are present up to C3 and down to T1. The ligaments of his vertebrae in the region are damaged as well. Because of this, there is severe damage to his spinal cord. This means he has no feeling or movement anywhere below his shoulders. Some of the muscles used for breathing are also affected.
While we are wholly focused on Steph recovering the ability to breathe on his own, the reality is that he now has quadriplegia - no feeling or movement from his shoulders down. This incident is life-changing for Steph and his family. He is currently in the ICU at Bryan Medical Center West Campus and, anticipating he will regain the ability to breathe on his own and graduate from the use of the ventilator, he will spend a significant amount of time in the hospital ward. As his strength increases, Steph will need to move to a specialised spinal cord rehabilitation hospital before being able to go home.
Steph's injuries precipitate life-changing adjustments. The costs that the family needs to bear include their accommodation, meals, and transportation while in Nebraska, the significant overrun that will happen when Stephane's medical insurance maxes out soon at $500k, and his relocation cost to Canada. Once there, set up with specialized equipment such as a wheelchair, van, and modifications to the home will represent significant expenses.
Please join in the next chapter of his story and support him and his family as they focus on bringing Stephane to the best possible outcomes despite this devastating setback.