Malik’s Rehabilitation

On Thursday August 2nd Malik was involved in a tragic diving accident at Wall Lake while swimming with friends. His neck was injured and his cervical 4 vertebrae was fractured resulting in a severe spinal injury. Malik was instantly immobilized but was fortunate to be located in the lake by friends and brought to shore. He has since been in ICU at Avera McKennan Hospital. Surgeons performed an emergency surgery to stabilize and repair his c4 which ultimately had to be replaced. Malik is currently not able to feel or move his body from the neck down and is on a breathing tube. He has since caught ventilator assisted phnemonia which the incredible surgeons and nurses at Avera have been working around the clock to control. In the next day or so the breathing tube will be removed and will be replaced by a tracheotomy.

The next step for Malik will be rehabilitation at a speciality rehab facility which specializes specifically in spinal injuries. The best options that have been recommendended by his medical team are located out of state at either Madonna in Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska or Craig near Denver, Colorado. Malik will be transported in the next coming weeks and will likely be housed at one of these facilities long term.

Malik’s mother Linda is a single parent who also raises Malik’s younger sister Janiqua as well. She does not currently have a reliable vehicle at this time and will be needing to travel back and forth out of state and/or relocating out of state to be by Malik’s side as well maintaining her home in South Dakota in the meantime. Every day is a new day with new changes and we will keep everyone updated on Malik’s condition as well as updates from rehab.

Malik has always been an athlete and has a contagious smile with so many contagious personalities. He has always had the biggest heart and would do anything for anybody at the drop of a dime. He loves helping others and thats something that will never change.

Malik is a senior at Washington High School and has two state championship football rings. Malik and his great grandfather have always had a passion for sports that started at a very early age. He started AAU wrestling by the age of 3. By the age of 10 he had attended State AAU wrestling tournaments 6 times. Malik was involved in Boy Scouts, baseball, and flag football. By 7th grade he was a Lincoln High School Varsity Wrestler as he attended Patrick Henry Middle School, where he also was on the football team. Malik can play almost any defensive line position as well as some offensive line positions. Malik has played football for the Washington Warriors his entire high school career up until now. Malik’s dream has always been to continue playing football throughout college attending University of Nebraska Lincoln majoring in physics or electronic engineering.

Please keep Malik in your prayers as Malik continues this fight on the road to recovery. Any donations go directly to financially support Malik and the Paulson family. God bless you all.

  • David & Becky Palugyay 
    • $100 
    • 45 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 48 mos
  • Sharon Lais 
    • $50 
    • 48 mos
  • Lisa Buckman 
    • $500 
    • 48 mos
  • Rebecca Vogt  
    • $100 
    • 48 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Malik Strong (2)

Linda Paulson 
Raised $375 from 7 donations
Sioux Falls, SD
Janiqua Paulson 
Team member
Raised $1,425 from 25 donations

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