Paralyzed man won't let accident limit himPosted: Updated:
A Bergen County man severely injured in a diving accident says that he won't let his disability prevent him from living his life.
Russ Deihl was on a trip to Long Island with his daughter last August when the accident happened. It left him paralyzed from the neck down. The Rochelle Park resident was always very active, especially with his group of workout buddies.
It was these three friends that gave Deihl his fighting spirit. They were the first faces he recognized at the hospital during recovery.
"I thought I was dreaming, but they had driven all the way out," Deihl says.
The group spearheaded a fundraiser to get him a powered wheelchair and were with him Tuesday when Fun Truck'n Mobility in Saddle Brook donated a van for him. The van will give Deihl even more mobility.
"They go from thinking so many things are going to be different and more difficult, to realize that they have their freedom," says Nicole Kelley with the organization.
Deihl's strong spirit never lets him give up. In just a year since the accident, he can already paint with his mouth, as well as send texts and emails. He is also learning the harmonica.
Deihl says he wants to give other handicapped people rides in his new van.