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Parents of Torrey Pines Teen Send Out a Warning After Water Accident

When he graduated from Torrey Pines High School last spring, Jonah Karpman, 18, had a lot to look forward to — He was on his way to the University of California, Berkeley for college.But an unfortunate injury days before Christmas altered his life’s course and forced him to put learning from textbooks on hold and instead relearn how to live his life.One day last December while rowing in Mission Bay, Jonah did a shallow dive into the water outside The Rowing Center and hit his head on the bay floor. He severely injured four of his cervical vertebrae in the process.”He surfaced face down. One friend was in the water. He couldn’t turn over. He couldn’t turn himself over,” said Jonah’s father, Mark Karpman.His friends called for help, and called Jonah’s Mother.Jonah left a heartbreaking message.”Mom, come to the hospital. It’s bad. She was in a panic. She called me at work and I didn’t know what she said I just knew when she said Mark, I just knew right away that it was something serious,” explained Karpman.Unaware that Jonah suffered a potentially paralyzing injury, his friends pulled him out of the bay and onto the shore. The added movement made his injuries worse.His friends called for help and then called his mother. Jonah was able to speak and left a heartbreaking message for her.”‘Mom, come to the hospital. It’s bad,'” Mark said, mimicking the message. He said his wife called him at work and he could tell something wasn’t right.”She was in a panic. She called me at work and I didn’t know what she said, I just knew when she said Mark, I just knew right away that it was something serious,” he said.”You finally get them kind of launched into the world, good school, good future; it was awful. It was really awful,” explained Jonah’s father. “He was not a super risk-taker. He enjoyed snowboarding, he enjoyed sports, but he was pretty careful in what he decided to do.”Jonah went from surgery to the ICU, and then to Denver for an extended stay at a rehabilitation center where he is relearning how to use his body. He has no feeling from the chest down.His parents wanted to share Jonah’s story in hopes it may make others more aware of their consequences.  It’s important to know what to do if you suspect someone has a spinal cord injury. Doctors say first, call 911 and do not move the person.Also, they suggest using towels and clothing on both sides of the neck to prevent any movement. That should be number one priority.The Karpman’s home will have to be modified and so that Jonah can perform the most basic task upon his return. And when he goes back to college he’ll need a full-time nurse.“He doesn’t accept defeat,” Jonah’s dad said. “He’s very determined. It serves him well already because he’s just going at [his rehab].”A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with those costs.
Source: NBC San Diego

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