Calgary teen paralyzed in tobogganing accident

The family of a Calgary teenager who was paralyzed from the waist down in a tobogganing accident is sharing their story in hopes of preventing a similar tragedy.

See Full Article

Alex was tobogganing with friends on Dec. 21, his fifteenth birthday, when he hit a patch of ice and crashed head-first into a pole. Unable to feel his legs, he was rushed to hospital where doctors confirmed that three vertebrae in his back were broken.

Alex, whose last name is being withheld at the request of his family, has been in the hospital ever since. He told CTV Calgary that “all signs point” towards the possibility that he will be paraplegic for the rest of his life.

“Watching your child suffer, day to day, and fight for things that we take for granted is mind-boggling to say the least,” said the teen’s mother, Stella.

Alex’s accident occurred on a hill that’s not approved for tobogganing by the city. But his parents say the city should at least post a warning sign in the area or fence off the poles at the bottom of the hill.

They also hope that Alex’s story will encourage other teenagers and families to be more careful while tobogganing.

“We hope no other family has to get that phone call,” said Alex’s father, John.

There are more than 20 city-maintained tobogganing hills in Calgary. Coun. Shane Keating said residents should flag safety issues in other areas to the municipality.

A GoFundMe page has been created to help Alex’s family purchase a wheelchair and modify their home and vehicles.

The once-active teen, who was in the cadets and hoped to join the Canadian Armed Forces someday, now says he would like to become a psychologist to help others in need.

“It’s a lot easier for someone to relate to someone who has been through a traumatic experience like this so I think this is going to help me a lot in life,” he said.

With a report from CTV Calgary’s Kathy Le


Latest Canada & World News

  • Life for brutal, back-to-back sex assaults?

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A teenager who was beaten, sexually assaulted and thrown in a Winnipeg river two years ago says she continues to carry physical and emotional scars. The girl, who cannot be identified under a court order, wrote a one-page victim impact statement for the sentencing hearing of her attacker. Source
  • Boy shot outside Utah middle school by classmate

    World News CTV News
    SALT LAKE CITY -- Authorities say a boy has been shot by a classmate outside a middle school in the Salt Lake City suburb of Sandy. Sandy police Sgt. Dean Carriger says the shooting occurred at about 3 p.m. Source
  • House of Commons votes to provide Yazidis refuge in Canada

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — With a freed Yazidi sex slave watching from the gallery, the House of Commons voted unanimously Tuesday to acknowledge a genocide against her people and to offer safe haven in Canada to vulnerable women and girls by the end of February. Source
  • 3 Canadians accused of smuggling cocaine to appear in Australian court

    World News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- The three Canadian cruise ship passengers charged in Australia with drug smuggling are scheduled to appear in a Sydney courtroom Wednesday. Andre Tamine, 64, Isabelle Lagace, 28, and Melina Roberge, 23, were arrested in late August after the MS Sea Princess, operated by California-based Princess Cruises, berthed in the Australian metropolis. Source
  • Forensic isotope analysis points cold case investigation north to Canada

    Canada News CBC News
    The old saying "You are what you eat" might hold the clue to unraveling the mysterious identity of a woman found dead nearly two decades ago in Wisconsin, who may have been raised in Canada. The young woman's body was discovered on the edge of a cornfield near Racine, Wis. Source
  • 'The gun just went off:' Documents describe deadly Sask. farm shooting

    Canada News CTV News
    NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. -- The afternoon Colten Boushie was killed, police say Gerald Stanley was at home with his son Sheldon when the two heard an SUV drive into his Saskatchewan farmyard. They told police they heard someone get into the family's pickup truck and then get back into the SUV. Source
  • Trump says Clinton's plans for Syria would 'lead to WW III'

    World News CBC News
    U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Democrat Hillary Clinton's plan for Syria would "lead to World War Three," because of the potential for conflict with military forces from nuclear-armed Russia. In an interview focused largely on foreign policy, Trump said defeating the group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a higher priority than persuading Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, playing down a long-held goal of U.S. Source
  • Is it rigged? 'User error' being blamed for Texas ballot bungles

    World News Toronto Sun
    Election officials in Texas are blaming “user error” as the reason behind a pair of serious ballot bungles. Lisa Houlette and her husband Gary voted in Randall County -- near Amarillo -- and they were stunned with the results. Source
  • Dennis Oland walks free after being given bail pending new trial

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    FREDERICTON - Dennis Oland held hands with his wife and children as he exited by the front door of the Fredericton courthouse Tuesday, free on bail a day after an appeal court quashed his murder conviction and ordered a new trial. Source
  • ISIS burns deserters alive in scalding oil

    World News Toronto Sun
    Desperate ISIS fanatics are turning on their deserters by boiling the men alive in scalding oil. The horrifying executions are unfolding in Mosul where the death cult is making its last stand and jihadists are less keen on martyrdom than they once thought. Source