News : 2010 : September

Young Man Paralyzed in Accident Walks Again


Determination, Medical Care Help College Student Defy Odds

MIAMI, Fla. — It was late December in 2008 that David Del Cristo’s life took a drastic turn.

“I was playing tag football with some of my fraternity brothers a few days before Christmas,” said Del Cristo. “Our game of tag turned to touch and that turned to tackle the guy with the ball,” he added.

When Del Cristo caught the ball, his friends piled on.

“It was one moment having a great time, a huge smile on my face, and the next moment having a huge weight on my shoulders and my entire body went into shock,” said Del Cristo.

Friend Javier Vargas recalled that moment.

“I saw him turn red, reach up, try to gasp for air, and at that moment I knew he wasn’t normal,” said Vargas.

Del Cristo was rushed to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital with a back injury so severe, the staffed was stunned.

“We’ve seen this kind of injury from violence, but not just from people horsing around a fraternity,” said Dr. Michael Wang, and neurosurgeon with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Jackson Memorial Hospital.