BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Thirteen year-old Clayton Pike was just being a kid, playing in the snow, when tragedy struck.
About two and a half weeks ago, after the Bills won against the Colts in the middle of a snow storm, Clayton, an 8th grader at Frontier Middle School, celebrated the win with friends by belly flopping into the snow.
“I just dove into the snow and there wasn’t enough snow and just hit the ground,” said Pike.
Clayton was rushed immediately to the hospital after paralyzing his right side. After seven hours of surgery, doctors told him he had 50 percent movement and feeling and a chance he may never walk again.
“He broke c5 vertebrae, damaged his spine, paralyzed on the right hand side. Like he can’t move anything, very scary,” said Clayton’s mom, Kim Pike.
Clayton has always been healthy and very active. He’s a competitive swimmer and a cross country runner, but his road to recovery is a long one.
“My goal would probably just be able to get back to walking and being able to feed myself and hanging out with friends and getting back to practicing and doing normal 13 year-old things,” said Clayton.
Clayton says he’s making progress. “I’m okay, I’m getting better day by day.”
But it’s been a tough year for the Pike family. Clayton’s dad, a volunteer firefighter, has been in and out of the hospital nine times this year for a genetic blood disease.
The family says they’re ready to put 2017 behind them and they’re hoping a new beginning will give them a fresh start.
“You could never prepare for the past nine months that our home has gone through and we’re just grateful everyone’s alive,” said Kim.
Clayton will be transported to the Children’s Institute in Pittsburgh for rehab next week.
Doctors and the family members are confident he will walk and swim again.
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