Another family vacation to Maui leaves teen paralyzed
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
A mainland visitor from Arizona has suffered severe injuries from a Maui beach, and he is the third victim in less than a month.
On July 13th, 17-year-old Alex Spartz was doing flips in the water with his sisters at Ka'anapali beach while on vacation with his family.
Spartz was timing his moves with the incoming waves but during his final flip, the wave didn't roll in as far, and he landed head first in the sand.
The varsity swim captain suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury, fracturing his C5 vertebrae and severely bruising his spinal cord. Spartz has since had stabilization surgery but does not have movement below the waist or in his fingers.
Spartz's mother says that while the situation is heartbreaking, her son's attitude is amazing.
"One day physical therapy came in and he was kind of tired and dozing off and physical therapy says, do you want to skip or are you too tired? And he says no, I need to do this."
Alex is currently still in the ICU in Maui and his family is waiting for his condition to improve so he is able to take a medical flight to St. Joseph's hospital in Phoenix where he will undergo further treatment and rehabilitation.
The Spartz family is remaining optimistic and have started a Go Fund me page to help cover Alex's medical expenses.
This incident comes shortly after Wendi Van Briesen, also an Arizona native, died after breaking her neck and shattering her vertebrae. Her accident happened the same day on a beach in Makena and was in the adjoining room next to Alex Spartz.
Ten days earlier, Todd Duitsman from Washington was another victim who was paralyzed from the neck down after his accident at nearby big beach on Maui.
If you would like to make a monetary donation to the Spartz family, click HERE.