A tale of two young men with life altering accidents causing paralysis and confinement to wheelchair life

I want to tell you two stories of two young men who were ripe with promise, and life changed in an instant. These are two stories that could have continued in tragedy, but with the help of a local organization, both men have found ways to thrive.

Boy A: At age 14 ½, he was injured in a 4-wheeler accident and paralyzed from the lower chest down. Prior to the accident, he was strong, active, and involved in many sports, namely fishing, hunting, scouting, football, basketball, track (multiple events, broad jump, etc.), and boxing. He completed a 75-mile canoe trip and camping, for 8 days on Ross lake. His dream was to be a Navy Seal. Life in a wheelchair seemed to cancel all that out. Shortly after his accident he said dating was not for him, because  what girl would want to date a guy in a wheelchair.

This young man was good at computers, so Chairbound Sportsman, a nonprofit organization, was started to help him and many others to have free outdoor adventures using all volunteers. He was also an active volunteer, and did many things for the organization, including webmaster, graphics designer of flyers and creator of event reports. He was able to learn many skills and still enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities which helped build his self-confidence and enrich his life. He went on to learn production skills, expanded computer skills, leading to a full-time career. He did marry and become the father of a baby boy to have a loving family of his own. 

Boy B: At the age of 16, he was injured in a motorcycle accident and was paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. The accident dashed his dreams to be a competitive racer. Discouragement took over, and he became a home shut-in, gained a lot of weight and relied largely on his parents for many things. He developed depression and lacked the motivation to try many new things like going fishing or hunting. He never married or developed skills that might lead to more self-confidence and independence. His life was spent on video games and watching TV, but had minimal interaction with other people.

He became aware of Chairbound Sportsman through our outreach efforts and started participating in free fishing and hunting, which opened a broader world of fun opportunities and helped him have more self confidence and expanded friendships. Both he and his parents expressed thankfulness to Chairbound Sportsman for the chances to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. Using an off-road action tracker electric chairs on hunts provided him an improved sense of freedom during pheasant, turkey and big game hunting. His self-confidence and wellness were noticeably improved.

We have seen personal improvements in a wide range of youth and adults with physical disabilities, especially with veterans experiencing PTSD and other issues after military service and adapting back to civilian life. It is hard to put a value on the service Chairbound Sportsman provides, but the recipients and the volunteers benefit greatly. 

These two stories show how important this organization is, and it is through raising funds that Chairbound Sportsman is able to provide services like these. 

Boy A is my Grandson and Boy B is one of the many people we have helped over the past 14 years in Utah to better enjoy the outdoors.

Kenneth Vaughn Sr, Co-Founder and Board Member of Chairbound Sportsman. 

By Kenneth Vaughn Sr.

Guest Contributor
Guest Contributor
Articles from community members to share their viewpoints, or letter to the editor.

Get Our Newsletter!

Submit News

Visit our Forms to submit a recipe, obituary, contact us, or submit news. 

Related news


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here