Benefit to be held for injured Truckee man
It’s not something most young men consider. It’s not something they ponder on the seats of chairlifts and mountain bikes. But in April, as Kyler Smith lay immobile on the snow in the terrain park at Northstar-at-Tahoe, it became clear to the young Truckee man that something was definitely wrong.
Three months later, Smith is recovering from the broken neck and damaged spinal cord that left him paralyzed from the chest down. But time passes slowly, and mobility cannot come fast enough for the 19-year-old Truckee resident.
Smith, who is still hospitalized, was unable to talk with the Sierra Sun before deadline, but his mother, Truckee resident Renee Smith, said that her son’s spirits are high and that he is optimistic about his future.
“He’s fixated on his recovery and getting healthy,” Renee Smith said. “He continues to stay positive about his recovery and has been encouraged by the support of the community and his friends.”
On Wednesday, Kyler Smith was moved for the first time from the intensive care unit at Santa Clara Valley Medical Canter in San Jose, a spinal rehabilitation facility that specializes in injuries like his, to the facility’s rehabilitation center.
For the next six to eight weeks, the young man who was once involved in nearly every sport and activity under the sun, will learn how to use the instruments that will help him type, write, eat and care for himself.
“We still hope for a full recovery, though we don’t know if that is realistic or not,” his mother said. “The best part for all of us is that he continues to stay positive.”
The Smith family has medical insurance, but the costs of remodeling their home to accommodate Kyler Smith’s wheelchair and purchasing equipment to help him remain as independent as possible are hard to estimate, Renee Smith said.
To soften the financial blow and to boost Kyler’s spirits, the Smith family and Northstar-at-Tahoe are holding a golf tournament and fundraiser this weekend.
“I’m always inspired by people who are more courageous that their injury, and Kyler is,” Renee Smith said. “Everybody has been there for him. I cant tell you how heart warming it is ” the support we’ve had from people. It’s been incredible.”