Update on Cole Hoodicoff and Rick Hansen visit

Castlegar Source
By Castlegar Source
February 10th, 2011

Local 11-year-old Cole Hoodicoff, who suffered a skiing injury Jan.3 that may have left him paralyzed from the rib cage down, is recovering well and was inspired by a visit from Canadian icon Rick Hansen on Monday, according to mom Amy Walters. “Hansen and Cole discussed the different sports that Cole might be interested in, as well as what he was interested in before the accident,” she said. “They compared injuries, talked about what research is ongoing in regards to spinal cord injury, and Hansen described a few of the different vehicles and equipment that he owns to keep doing things he loves such as camping, fishing and cycling, all of which Cole enjoys himself.  “I will never forget a point in the conversation that once again reminded me how extraordinary Cole really is. Hansen had been describing how he felt immediately after his injury and how he did not cope with it very well at first. Cole said, ‘Well, I have a pretty positive attitude, so I guess that’s good.’ Hansen agreed and encouraged Cole to stay focussed on the positive.  “‘It’s the hardest part,’ Hansen said.  “Cole went on to say, ‘I kind of feel like this is my destiny…because if this didn’t happen to me I probably wouldn’t meet people like you or the other people I’ve met… I hope that I can do something good with this.’  “I literally stopped breathing when he said that,” Amy said. “I was in awe. It was a truly magical moment.  “For an 11-year-old child facing paralysis to look at it that way … I was having a hard time coping myself, so what he said kind of shocked me. If he can be like that, then we can all get through this, no problem.  “It just renewed every ounce of strength I had. I have never been so moved.” Amy said Cole’s day-to-day life is looking very different than it did even a couple of weeks ago.  “Now that Cole is at Sunny Hill Rehabilitation Centre, he has gradually moved on to a new set of challenges and a completely new “typical day.” He is out in his wheelchair much more often now than just a week ago! In fact, he is rarely in his bed during the day now. Instead, he completes a different daily schedule that may include school work, recreation, swimming, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or other activities that he chooses for himself.  “He has met many other children, each with their own set of unique challenges, and has made a few new friends. He is wheeling himself around for most of the day and is looking forward to when he has a wheelchair designed specifically for him.  “On Tuesday, we (Brad and I) were excited to take him for the first time into the swimming pool. His therapist remarked that she has never seen a child so at ease in the pool for the first time [after this type of injury]. We said it was not surprising as Cole has always enjoyed swimming in the Kootenays his whole life! According to Cole, it was really a “cool but weird” experience for him to be able to be in a vertical position.”  Amy has promised to provide regular updates to The Source, so all the people who have pitched in and helped, donated, prayed, or even just cared about the young man can be a part of his recovery.  “Once again I would like to thank the community for all their support and prayers. We are so very grateful for continued prayers for Cole to maintain his courage, strength, and motivation,” she said.  

Categories: General