During the couple's two-week honeymoon in Hawaii, Brendan Town also learned his pregnant wife is expecting a boy
An Atlanta man on his honeymoon was left paralyzed from the waist down after a devastating surfing injury.
Brendan Town and his pregnant wife told Fox affiliate WAGA-TV that they saved up money for a two-week honeymoon in Hawaii. Two days before they were due to fly home, Town decided to try surfing and signed up for a lesson on Thursday.
"I caught the first wave," Town said. "I was very excited."
That's when he felt pain when he popped up onto the board. Initially, he thought he may have pulled a muscle, but he kept going,
After his condition worsened, he went to the hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with surfer's myelopathy, an extremely rare nontraumatic spinal cord injury.
The condition, which is traditionally linked to first-time surfers, can also be caused by other activities like gymnastics and yoga, per the National Library of Medicine. Only more than 60 cases have been diagnosed.
Town said the duration of the paralysis can vary. According to WAGA-TV, doctors told him of a case where a patient was able to walk within weeks, though there are cases of permanent paralysis.
His wife, Cho Park, wrote in a GoFundMe post that there's not a "standardized treatment" for the injury, which is "caused by hyperextension of the back."
"Considering he still has small feeling to his lower half we are very hopeful he will make improvements with the help of good rest and physical therapy," she added.
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Speaking with WAGA-TV, Town acknowledged that the ordeal has weighed on him, but said he was determined to "get back to full health."
"I can't let this slow me down," he added.
In an update on the fundraiser on Monday, Town wrote that he was moved out of the ICU and that he's had a "spinal fluid drain removed and am now resting up in general care."
"I have been able to move myself completely over to a wheel chair without much assistance!" he continued. "Yayay! Core balance is excellent and we will be working on general care for myself and how to get around."
What's also driving his focus to recover is the couple's baby boy, due in February. The pair found out about the baby's gender while they were in Hawaii, Town wrote.
Town noted that his goal now is to withstand an eight- to nine-hour flight to return home later this week. He then plans to begin "patient physical therapy that will help expedite the process of my healing and being able to walk again."
More than $9,000 has been raised via the GoFundMe as of Wednesday morning, with the hope the funds can be used "to cover medical and travel costs associated with getting back home, healing, and getting into a good rehabilitation center in Atlanta," his wife wrote.
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