The family of a south St. Vital man says the support of the community has been invaluable in helping his lengthy recovery from a serious skiing injury.
On Dec. 29, 2011, Dhruv Kapoor, now 20, was skiing with friends at Asessippi Ski Area & Resort when he had a head-on collision with a tree and suffered a broken neck.
Kapoor had surgery at Health Sciences Centre that day and spent the next seven months in rehabilitation there as he recovered from his spinal cord injuries.
"While there, I was lucky, as I got some recovery in my lower extremities and there was a gradual improvement in my movement," said Kapoor, a Dakota Collegiate graduate who was a full-time chemistry student at the University of Manitoba at the time of the accident. "I needed help standing up with a walker and I was walking with body weight support."
While in rehabilitation, Kapoor’s family heard about a facility in Carlsbad, Calif. called Project Walk, which specializes in spinal cord injury recovery and works with individuals with spinal cord injuries through intense activity-based recovery programs, education, training, research and development.
In August 2012, Kapoor first travelled to Project Walk with his father, Sanjay, who is on a leave of absence from work, for a four-month stay.
"It was beneficial for me, because now I can stand and walk a little bit. While I was there (the first time), I worked mostly on standing, walking and balance exercises," Kapoor said.
Earlier this month, the pair left for a second stint at the state-of-the-art facility. The length and frequency of Kapoor’s visits will ultimately depend on the speed of his recovery.
To help pay for the expensive trips, family, friends and community members held several events in south Winnipeg last year, including a cupcake fundraiser spearheaded by Kapoor’s younger brother, Krrish, at Highbury School (which raised $1,500), a Bud, Spud and Steak event at Tijuana Yacht Club and a Dinner and Dance at the Hindu Temple & Dr. Raj Pandey Hindu Centre. The family also hopes to hold another event in the summer.
Sanjay added two of his son’s school friends — Dan Yorsh and Maxwell Day — founders of Pen Clothing — are selling a custom-designed T-shirt to help out their friend. To learn more, visit penclothing.com.
He said the spirit and kindness of the community has helped the family immeasurably.
"Regardless of race, everybody has got together and donated to help us. We’ve been amazed at the strength of the community, especially strangers. We couldn’t have arranged to go back to Project Walk without their support," Sanjay said.
Kapoor’s mom, Honey, added: "We’re just very, very thankful to everyone that’s supported us. Dhruv has seen a lot of improvement and has had good rehabilitation. I noticed the difference when he came back from California."
For more information, or to donate, visit dhruvrecovery.com.