Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter
HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – It’s a moment not even his doctors were sure was possible, 16-year-old Chase Lalonde was on his feet and walking.
His mom, medical team and teammates were there for the big reveal at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, proof that the teen had defied the odds.
“I didn’t really feel anything like when I saw I was hit in the back,” said Lalonde.
Lalonde is Captain of his high school Lacrosse team. Earlier this month, after a hard hit, Lalonde found himself on the field unable to move.
“I stood and just fell straight back and lost all feeling, I was just crap ‘I’m done’, in the back of my mind I’m just, ‘yep this is it, I’m paralyzed’,” he said.
Lalonde, who was paralyzed from the neck down, was airlifted to Memorial Regional Hospital from Western Florida. Doctors determined he had suffered severe blunt trauma to his C3 & C4 sections of his cervical spine.
“When he arrived, to us it was as bad as it looked in terms of his ability to move his arms or his legs,” said Dr. Andrew Rosenthal who performed the emergency surgery to relieve the pressure on his spine.
“It made us immediately concerned that this might be permanent quadriplegia,” said Rosenthal.
“This is the first time that I heard that they thought he could be a quadriplegic and I’m grateful that none of you told us that,” said Lalonde’s mother Amy.
She was at his side for what turned out to be weeks of intense rehab, Lalonde had to re-learn how to do just about everything.
“You really do take everything that you do for granted, especially simple things like brushing your teeth or eating food,” said Lalonde.
Slowly he recovered function. His will to walk again, said his doctors, was moved by his mindset, he was strong, young and a teenager in every way.
Lalonde entered the hospital a quadriplegic. On Thursday he stood for his nurses as they sang him what’s called the “discharge song” and he walked out a medical miracle.
“I immediately said okay God please give me the strength to deal with our new normal whatever that might be. Thank God this is it,” said Amy Lalonde.