Mark Cameron became a C4-C5 quadriplegic as a result of a shallow water diving accident in September of 2004. Mark was told he could be spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair with 24-hour care and dependent on a ventilator to act as his lungs.
Mark set two personal goals during his hospital stay. He determined he would breathe on his own before leaving the hospital and he would live independently upon his return home. To the surprise of his doctors he beat the ventilator machine in 3-1/2 months. After returning home he acquired the computer technology that allows him the ability to operate his phone, computer and doors, giving him the ability to stay home alone and with some help from volunteers he is living on his own.
During his stay in the hospital family and friends followed his recovery on a website blog and were able to send messages to Mark. He quickly realized he could not fail with so much support. This support system dubbed “Team Cameron” helped raise money to offset medical expenses, a new addition on his house and medical equipment.
Mark, unable to move his arms and legs is dependent upon others for most care. Through assistive technology he has control of his phone, lights and computer. Armed with Mark’s unyielding determination and the ability to control his environment Mark has solidified a level of independence that would normally not be allowed to someone with his level of injury.
In an effort to help others Mark started working as a Patient Advocate by sharing his experiences and education with the newly injured and their families. He has opened his home for tours in the hopes that others will benefit by using some of the information, technology and equipment in their pursuit of independence and recovery.
In addition to speaking with the injured he has found others are interested in hearing his message. Mark started speaking publically shortly after his return home from the hospital. According to Mark, “Life hasn’t ended, it’s just changed.” He attributes his attitude and spirit to his tremendous support network and admits regularly with a smile that he is the “luckiest man alive.”
Team Cameron still gets together to raise money to help Mark with his continued recovery and medical expenses. If you would like to help Mark with his recovery please feel free to join us at any of the upcoming events.
Click here to see What Mark is doing to give back.