LOCHBUIE, Colo. (KDVR) — The Stanley Cup continues its victory lap around the world making a stop at a local hospital. The Cup visited a family that is turning their recent trauma into a reason to stay resilient in the face of adversity.
The father of the Garcia family, Sammy Garcia, was recently paralyzed from the neck down in a pool accident. Garcia has spent most of the summer recovering at area hospitals, and getting to see the Stanley Cup is just one way he and his family have learned to see light at the end of their tunnel.
Back in June, the Garcia family installed a pool at their Lochbuie home. Sammy joined his daughters for a dip and dived in.
“The girls asked me to join them, and I jumped in once,” Sammy said. “Like head first, in some way, I ended up landing in the bottom of the pool, ended up breaking my neck, ended up being paralyzed instantly.”
His wife, Kay, said she, their neighbor and her daughter rushed to help Sammy.
“They both helped me hold my husband up above the water,” Kay said.
Sammy was taken to UC Health for treatment.
“He did go through a four to five-hour surgery and was in ICU for 10 days,” Kay said.
Their journey started rough, but Sammy and his family remained determined.
“When I first came in here, I could only move my shoulders and now I’m moving more of my neck and I’m moving more of my arms,” Sammy said.
Their lives are changed now, remodeling their home, even having to save up for a van retrofitted for Sammy to drive.
“We’re learning and adjusting as we go, I’m taking in a lot. It’s definitely not easy,” Kay said.
Recently, they were reminded life goes on and it isn’t all tragedy.
“Yesterday, Joe Sakic came by to visit the Craig Hospital and they surprised us with the Stanley Cup. It was very awesome,” Sammy said.
This gesture served as an example that no matter what life hands you, family and friends make it worth the struggle.
“It’s OK to sometimes feel emotionally drained, but at the same time enjoy your life, you know,” Sammy said.
Sammy is hoping to be out of the hospital on Sept 1. A GoFundMe has been made to help the family’s recovery effort.