FOLSOM (CBS13) – A freak accident at a summer camp left a soon-to-be-high-school senior paralyzed, and now his family is asking for help.
“I want him to have the care that’s going to give him the ability to have full restoration,” said Kevin Fritz.
It’s a parent’s worst nightmare.
“You get that phone call at 12:30 in the morning and it sounded like it was not too bad, but you wonder why are you getting this call at 12:30 in the morning,” he said.
Ashton Fritz was at church camp in San Diego when he did a back flip and suffered a severe spinal injury that paralyzed him from the neck down.
“You think. ‘What would happen if something tragic happened and do I really have that support?’ You don’t know until it really happens and it’s just been really, really overwhelming,” said his mother, Sarah Fritz.
The past two weeks have also been overwhelming for Ashton as he said started to regain feeling, but is still at UC San Diego waiting to be transferred.
“For my hands to start moving and my legs to start twitching is awesome. It means that I will be able to go a lot farther than your average person,” said 17-year-old Ashton Fritz.
The wrestling senior from Vista del Lago High says it’s hope that’s driving him, but Ashton is in need of serious help.
“For us, the focus has been on getting him to rehab,” Sarah said.
The family of five is banking on Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado that specializes in spinal injuries.
“Craig has 50 patients with like injuries to Ashton’s,” said his father.
“He’s 17, so the chance of regeneration of his spinal cord is so good because he is so young,” said his mother.
Right now, Ashton has Kaiser insurance and to get to Craig, his family says, they need a referral from Kaiser.
“We are looking for him to regain his ability to function as a human being, to walk. If he is a quadriplegic we’ll accept that, but right now what we really need is what insurance does, and we need Kaiser to support that, but [it’ll] cost about $1 million,” Kevin said.
It’s at a high cost, but the success rates are overwhelming and Ashton says he’s ready for the challenge.
“It will be awesome. I can’t wait to see what I can do,” Ashton said.
The Fritz family says the support means everything as Ashton works to take that next step.
“Thank you so much. I really appreciate all the support and you guys are awesome, and I love you,” Ashton said.
Due to privacy concerns, Kaiser had no comment.
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