One man's determination to ski again after a paralyzing car crash.
When a car accident damaged Jeff Parelli’s brain, it rendered the once-avid skier paralyzed on his left side. The Pennsylvania stockbroker lost his job, his mobility, and the ability to count and read.
In the weeks following the 2007 accident, he struggled to speak, eat, dress, and even comprehend why he was in a rehab facility, the John Hines Institute of Rehabilitation in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. “With brain damage, you really do not know who you are,” he says. “You look at a mirror and don’t really know much of anything and you don’t understand the extent of your injuries.”
After a park crash, Roy Tuscany was wheeled into a hospital as a paraplegic. He walked out. The experience led him to launch High Fives to help injured athletes. He hasn’t stopped moving since.
SKI » How did you get injured?
R.T.» In 2006, I was a coach with the Sugar Bowl Academy, and we were in Mammoth. I made a mistake that morning and didn’t do a speed check. I ended up overshooting a feature and coming down from 30 feet in the air. The impact felt as if my hips went through my shoulders. The crash resulted in a T-12 burst fracture, causing me to be incompletely paralyzed from the belly button down.