Day 25 - Cruise Bogle

In December 2008, Cruise came home for a winter break from school that would change his life forever. Within the first week of his return he lost a friend to a drug overdose. On December 16th he and his friends attended the funeral in the morning and then headed to the beach to reminisce. Cruise then started skim boarding with another friend like he had done many times before, but this time when he cut into the wave his board slipped out from underneath him and he fell backwards and hit his head on the hard sand.

His friends on the beach thought he was joking as he lay in the water until a wave flipped him over and he still wasn’t moving. His friend Joey pulled him out of the water and he was then rushed to Delray Medical Center. After multiple x-rays, CAT scans and MRIs he was sent into emergency surgery for the next 6 hours. They replaced his C4 vertebrae with a titanium cage and four titanium pins to stabilize his neck. In a split second Cruise had been paralyzed from the neck down. He spent the next two weeks in the Delray ICU Trauma Unit and then on December 31st he was airlifted to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia for rehab. He remained there for the next 2 1/2 months, working hard to be strong enough to return home.

Cruise made great progress in the first few months and with a C4 injury he was lucky to be breathing on his own. He was on a ventilator that kept him stable for the first several weeks, and eventually weaned off the tracheostomy at the beginning of February. He was unable to speak for six weeks until his strength came back and he could speak around the trach. The experience at Shepherd Center was amazing; each patient had a team of therapists and nurses that provided daily care. Once Cruise was out of the ICU, his inpatient rehabilitation program consisted of three hours of physical and occupational therapies along with several other appointments throughout the day including speech therapy, recreational therapy, assistive technology and counseling. Once a week he could participate in a community outing and also had the opportunity to observe sports teams and participate in research studies.

Cruise now goes to a specialized gym in Palm Beach called “Center for Neuro Recovery” 5 days a week in order to work on building strength and regaining mobility and independence. After attending this facility for several years now, he has gained significant strength in his shoulders, core and even enough strength in his right arm to manipulate and use his phone in his lap and also drive his wheelchair via hand joystick for short periods of time.

Cruise has used assistive technology to follow a few endeavors since his accident, from producing music in his home studio to directing and editing music videos to starting an urban clothing line with a few close friends, he is working hard to make things happen for himself! Having been forced to grow up fast and with his keen sense of humor he is always quick to break the ice and make anyone feel comfortable in his presence.

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David Platillero