Here is the story: CJ was injured in a tragic hunting accident on January 27th, 2018. A young friend shot him through his right elbow with a 12 gauge shotgun while packing up after goose hunting late that day. CJ was rushed to Cooper University Hospital spending 8 days there. Three days were in the trauma intensive care unit. The top of his elbow and 3 inches of his humorous bone were completely shattered by the blast, and he suffered major tissue and nerve damage. CJ endured 3 surgeries in 5 days with a tremendous and talented team of surgeons working their best to reconstruct his elbow. Currently he has a plate, several screws, and a wire partially reconstructing his elbow, as well as an external fixator holding together his arm as it heals over the next several months. It will be a long road to recovery with an unsure prognosis, as it is still unknown what range of motion CJ will eventually regain. He will also have to endure countless hours of physical therapy in the upcoming months and years. Being right handed, a limited range of motion and joint pain will affect CJ for the rest of his life. Currently he has terrible pain in his arm and especially in his hand. He tries to remain optimistic and hopeful throughout his recovery. With this terrible injury, CJ said at one point he thought he was going to die and he prayed he would not. He said that he thought although if he did die, at least he was hunting and doing something that he loved to do.
He is a great kid and has helped all kinds of people. He is a Honor Society member and a college bound student with good grades in demanding classes. He is very helpful and respectful to family, friends, neighbors, strangers, and everyone really. He is also an all around American kid, with any list he ever submitted for Christmas or birthdays always including some American made product.
Since his injury, many of the things he enjoys doing will be more difficult and more expensive. If a similar injury happened while in the service, or during work with a full time employer, many protections and accommodations are in place to help one maintain independence and financial security. Not so with an accident like this. Funding for CJ is being sought with no minimum or maximum goal at all really. Any words of encouragement and ideas to help maintain outdoor independence are just as valuable as funds. It would just simply be great for CJ to have to worry less about how he will make money this summer before college and how to pay for any costs to alter some type of equipment to continue to allow him to enjoy his outdoor freedoms and adventures. Even paddling a kayak may have to be reinvented for him. Working hard and playing hard all cost money for the right equipment and he needs any and all help he can get.
We are willing to send X-rays to anyone wanting to see the inside of his arm or that need to verify the extent of CJ's injury.
Thank you all. Also, please remember once again, words of encouragement are appreciated and often more valuable than any amount of money.
p.s. We expect some negative comments too. CJ is not easily offended and remains optimistic regardless of what others feel.
- Phil & Celia Schwab
- Stephen and Nancy Considine
- Joseph Pancoast
- Mike Dalessandro
- John Haynicz
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