This post was originally posted on KRCR News Channel 7
MOUNT SHASTA, Calif. (KRCR) – A man paralyzed in a car crash has returned to the ski slopes for the first time, thanks to some help from an adaptive program at Mount Shasta Ski Park. Kyle Anderson of Redding was paralyzed when a driver struck him eight years ago, resulting in a brain stem injury.
“He was hit by a car while working for Caltrans, ” said Kyle Anderson’s father, Matthew Anderson.
“He was in a coma for five weeks and in the hospital for 18 months and then we have been taking care of him ever since,” said Robin Alexander, Kyle’s mother.
His family knows Kyle is aware of his surroundings. He is unable to communicate verbally but can communicate with those around him by blinking. For example, one blink means something different than two blinks.
Kyle traveled to Mount Shasta Ski Park with his family and friends Thursday morning. Trained staff from Mount Shasta Ski Park assisted Kyle with getting into the ski park’s adaptive ski gear. The specialized equipment is available for individuals who have disabilities or injuries.
His family said it is amazing to see their son back out on the slopes, an experience they know their son enjoys.
“All of us were soaring all week. I mean it really does our heart good because I mean, believe me, it’s been a challenge,” Matthew said.
For Kyle’s father, he now has the opportunity to snowboard with his son again, something he thought he’d never be able to do.
“It great to be able to ride with him again. It’s amazing. We never thought we would be able to ride again,” Matthew said.
Kyle’s parents said it would have been impossible to see their son out in the snow, enjoying what he loves, without the Mount Shasta Ski Park program called the Adaptive Program.
“People who run into different challenges in their life, whether those challenges be visual, cognitive, or physical, or a combination of all three, we give them the opportunity to come play on our beautiful mountain,” said Scott Cooper, Assistant Director at Mount Shasta Ski Park.
Mike Copithorne, a volunteer for the program and who is paraplegic, said seeing Kyle’s journey had inspired him as well.
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And if you have the desire and the right people, get connected with the right folks, anybody can do this,” Copithorne said.