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Community continues to rally around Medina teen paralyzed in sledding accident

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Posted at 5:54 PM, Mar 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 18:41:03-04

MEDINA, Ohio — In a split second, on a seemingly quiet evening in February, Jim Wilson and his family found themselves living in a new reality.

“She has no sensation or feeling below the mid-chest level," said Jim Wilson. His daughter Natalie suffered a spinal cord injury after going down a sledding hill in the Hinkley Reservation.

RELATED: 2 serious sledding incidents send 2 teens to the hospital with severe injuries

“Something so innocent as sled riding," said Wilson. "It could be temporary, it could be permanent, no one really knows.”

As she continues rehab to see if she can regain sensation and mobility, Natalie and her family are reminded they're not alone on this challenging journey.

“I had no idea that so many people would have surfaced the way they did even with a GoFundMe. Who would have thought they would have reached close to $28,000," said Wilson.

This past weekend, students and staff from the Medina Career Center built a ramp at the family's home.

“They consider themselves a tight-knit family," said Wilson.

Natalie is a student at the career center. She is studying cosmetology.

“Seeing what they have done so far just in their sacrifice and their willingness to come alongside us has just blown us away," said Wilson.

In addition to the community support, this family of 10, made possible through adoption, finds inspiration in other places.

“There’s a lot of strength in just overcoming the obstacles that can be presented with adoption," said Wilson.

The Wilson family is finding the courage to navigate this next chapter in their family's story and faith.

“Our life is really about loving and caring for one another and this has really brought that home to us," said Wilson.

But Wilson said the support from strangers near and far has been crucial to getting them to this point.

“It really did help us get through it in a way that would have been so much harder if we had felt as alone as we felt in those initial hours," said Wilson.

The hope is Natalie will start to regain sensation and mobility over the next year.

Wilson calls it "a big hope," but they remain optimistic.

“Our faith in God has really been a strong anchoring factor to the reality that life is a fragile thing. This is just an obstacle. As big as it is it’s just an obstacle and it can be overcome," said Wilson.