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California teenager earns special high school diploma

#California #teenager #earns #special #high #school #diploma

PHOENIX, June 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A Southern California high school student recently received his high school diploma while being hospitalized with debilitating injuries from a diving accident in Arizona in March.

Dylen Damico-Rager, who is currently undergoing intensive neurorehabilitation at the Barrow Neurological Institute at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, was welcomed by his high school faculty, friends and family who traveled from California for the special cap and dress graduation party.

“It’s really cool and special to have my high school faculty and medical team do this for me,” says Damico-Rager, 18. “It’s not how I planned to graduate, but I’m so grateful for their support and the opportunity to wear my cap and gown and receive my diploma.”

Damico-Rager was scheduled to graduate with his class on May 25 from Cypress High School in Cypress, California. However, on March 25, he suffered a serious spinal cord injury and became paralyzed after taking a shallow jump into a river near Yuma, Arizona while on vacation.

“Following the impact of the dive, Dylen lost motion in his arms and legs, was swept away by the current and nearly drowned,” says Sarah Samayoa, Damico-Rager’s mother. “Fortunately, his friends were able to find him and begin resuscitation. Paramedics on site resuscitated him.”

Damico-Rager was flown to the Level I Trauma Center at St. Joseph’s in Phoenix. Trauma surgeons from St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center worked to stabilize him, and neurosurgeons from the hospital’s Barrow Neurological Institute performed cervical fusion surgery to fuse his spinal cord. After spending three weeks in the hospital’s intensive care unit, Damico-Rager began neurorehabilitation at Barrow’s Inpatient Neurorehabilitation Center, where he is currently undergoing intensive physical, occupational and speech therapy.

“Dylen is a brave young man who shows incredible courage…

Read on GNW: California teenager earns special high school diploma

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