A Skier’s Recovery from a Spinal Cord Injury

Quadrilyzed documents Tahoe-based photographer Jason Abraham's life-altering ski injury and recovery

Jason Abraham, an established photographer and skier in Lake Tahoe, was skiing down Main Chute off the Palisades at Squaw Valley when he caught an edge and fell. When he stopped, Abraham couldn’t feel his legs. He later learned that he broke his C6/7 vertebrae. That day—Thursday, April 9, 2015—marked a new chapter in Abraham’s life.

“I think its important for people to understand that the fall that I took really could have happened to anyone,” says Abraham in the short documentary, Quadrilyzed, produced by the High Fives Foundation, a nonprofit founded to support athletes who suffer from life-altering injury. Squaw Valley’s Main Chute is steep, but it is also straight-forward and skied by many. Abraham’s misstep paralyzed him from the chest down.

Following his injury, Abraham and his family traveled to Craig Hospital in Edgewood, Colorado, which specializes in spinal chord and traumatic brain injuries. After his initial recovery, he moved home and is now focused on adapting to a new way of life.

“Just the everyday little things that go into your daily life,” he says. “For me, getting dressed, going to the bathroom, bathing, eating, preparing food, all those things are hard.”

But there is hope to this story.

“It’s changed everything in our life,” says Abraham’s wife, Kate. “But a lot of positives come out of it and I think if you look at what the positives are instead of the negatives, it keeps you going. But I won’t say it’s been easy. It’s been very challenging.”

Like Kate, the film focuses on the positive: the changes Abraham has made, challenges he has overcome, and the hope he still has that he will walk again. To learn more about The High Fives Foundation and the support they give to athletes like Abraham, read the profile that printed in the November 2012 issue of POWDER (41.3). You can support High Fives here.