Paralyzed man won't let accident limit him

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.


sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."