WORCESTER (CBS) — An emotional reunion took place in Worcester of a very lucky man and the 3 people he calls his angels.
A remarkable set of circumstances lined up to save his life. A diving accident could have killed him or left him paralyzed it it wasn’t for what he calls a miracle. The fact that Weylon Baxter walked off the elevator today shocked everyone at the UMass Memorial Medical Center.
It was just 2 months ago that Weylon dove off a 20 foot cliff into the Saco River in Maine.
“I just happened to dive in the wrong spot. I hit the bottom of the embankment, breaking my C-2 and C-3 vertebrae. I was immediately paralyzed,” he says.
But in a remarkable twist of fate 3 nurses from UMass Medical were also there on a camping trip.
“I floated to the top and at that moment someone grabbed me and kind of flipped my head over a little bit. It was one of the nurses, asking me if I was ok. I told her, I can’t move or feel anything,” Weylon says.
“We knew then there was some kind of a spinal injury and we had to stabilize his neck,” says Katie Simone, one of the nurses.
In another twist all 3 nurses work at the UMass neurology center and knew exactly what to do.
“We had to have one person on his neck, one at his feet and another with his upper body. Kind of keeping his body straight and going all at once,” says Nate Batallas.
“Even the slightest bit of movement, if he didn’t have that stabilization, could have injured his spinal cord for good,” adds Katie Walsh.
The 3 kept him still until an ambulance arrived.
“As far as I’m concerned, I owe them my life,” Weylon says.
“We knew the correct way to help him so I guess the stars did align,” Katie Simone adds.
“I’m not a miracle guy, but if miracles exist then, it was a reality slap from God telling me to slow the hell down,” says Weylon.
He still has a long way to go and may need more surgery, but Weylon knows that people with his type of injury often do not recover in the way that he has.