(JASONVILLE) - A Jasonville teenager is looking for the help of the community. 18-year-old Shad Sexton was in a swimming accident last year that changed his life.
Sabrina Westfall of the Greene County Daily World reports that when he went to dive into the pool, his 6-foot 5-inch body made him hit the bottom of the pool at a bad angle, and he damaged his C-5 vertebrae.
The accident left him in an almost completely quadriplegic state, and now he is in need of help to address his unique situation.
Gerikay Sexton, his mother, says due to his tall stature, they are unable to transport him to necessary appointments or for him to be a normal teenager.
She has entered Shad in a contest to win a van and he needs your vote. Anyone can vote by visiting www.mobilityawarenesmonth.com, and searching for Shad Sexton.
Four vans will be awarded to the top vote recipients in May, and will be tailored to the individual's needs. Also, the direct link to the page can be found on the Facebook page, "Prayers and Progress for Shad Sexton".
Members of the community have stepped up to help Shad Sexton as well, and this week there will be a fundraiser to help with traveling expenses, home modifications and other necessities.
Sexton said anyone can order online at www.schwanns.com and enter code 42577 until Friday, and a portion of the proceeds will go to help with Shad's expenses.
Sexton said Billy Walker, who provides her Schwann services, had the idea to help Shad and has enlisted the help of his boss.
Matt Mahoney, who serves as a youth pastor and works for the Schwann company, with be bringing his youth group to Greene County on Friday to try to earn money for Shad. The group will also be in the area until noon on Saturday.
Sexton said she was not sure of the exact locations, but Mahoney will be at Sullivan High School from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon selling products, and a portion of those proceeds will also go to help Shad.
Sexton added her son has come so far since his injury last July, and his journey has been an inspiration to others.
Shad Sexton has been asked to speak at the Cornerstone Spine Institute annual fundraiser in April to share his story and progress. He was also named on of the "Patients of the Year" at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana.
"The first rehab facility he went to was RHI in Indianapolis. They see more than 5000 people a year, and he has been chosen as one of their patients of the year," Sexton explained.
Shad has made incredible progress since the accident that left him in a quadriplegic state.
"He can dress himself in bed now, with minimal help. He can transfer himself from bed to chair. We almost don't have to use the hoyer at all. He can roll himself over now. They told him in the beginning he would never be an independent transfer, and he would never be able to live on his own," Sexton explained.
She said their next project is to get a website up and running to offer information for other individuals who are in Shad's position. She said simple products like shower chairs are hard to find for those who are very tall.
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