On March 17, 2017, Deavon Tabish Moran suffered a spinal cord injury (break in his 11th thoracic vertebrae) while snowboarding in the French Alps. Everything about the trip was a dream come true for Deavon. He found dirt-cheap airfare that lined up with both his spring break and his France buddy’s annual family ski weekend. He was set to have the time of his life. After a few runs on the slopes, Deav, an avid snowboarder, decided to do a jump he had successfully executed many times before. This time he didn’t.
Within an hour of Deavon’s accident he was airlifted to the university hospital in Grenoble where his injury was assessed and he was scheduled for surgery. We (his parents) were notified of his injury after the accident but before his surgery. Things became, and remained, surreal until I (Mary) reached his bedside at the hospital in Grenoble days later.
In the midst of this horrific turn of events there were glimpses of outstanding fortune. A world-class neurosurgeon operated on Deavon and did what we understand to be some radical fusing and bracing. Still, the prognosis was not optimal. When I finally met with Dr Ashraf, Deavon’s surgeon, he didn’t mince words. He informed me that Deavon had a 99 percent chance of permanent lower extremity paralysis.
However, there were small signs of hope. We learned through a psychiatrist that visited with Deavon that, because Deavon was so strong before the accident, Dr. Ashraf believed there was reason to have hope for his future recovery. He also relayed that it was imperative for Deavon to begin a rehabilitation program in the U.S. as soon as humanly possible and that the work would be arduous and the path would be long and, still, it would be a long shot.
Now, weeks after receiving radical surgery performed by a world-class neurosurgeon in the French Alps, Deavon is at Craig, a world-class rehabilitation facility in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, where his journey truly begins.
Deavon has a solid insurance policy through his work at a charter school in Albuquerque. He also purchased insurance from the lodge in France. Still, there will be out-of-pocket costs from his extensive care and rehabilitation. Deavon’s initial stay at Craig Hospital may be anywhere from 60 to 90 days. After his release, he will have to return to Craig for “booster sessions” to keep his recovery on track. In the best scenario, it is probable that it will take two years for Deavon to regain use of his legs. Beyond medical costs, there are other financial needs to accommodate Deavon’s living environment during this rehabilitation.