Carson Pforsich regaining some feeling, is reported to be ‘in good spirits’
A day after Carson Pforsich dived into an incoming wave headfirst, injuring his neck and spinal cord, the 17-year-old Analy High School student athlete wanted to know about Marshawn Lynch’s stats from the Oakland Raider’s game against the Washington Redskins.
But, due to a breathing tube, Pforisch couldn’t talk and had to communicate through an alphabet chart.
“You can imagine how frustrating that would be, particularly when he wants to know something important like whether or not he won in Fantasy Football,” his parents, Andy and Andrea Pforsich wrote.
The breathing tube was required, since Pforsich’s C3 vertebrae — the one that controls breathing — was swollen from the accident.
On Sunday afternoon, Pforsich and three of his friends had stopped at Pinnacle Gulch Beach, just south of Bodega Bay. They went into the water to cool down. Pforsich dived over an incoming wave head first, but the water level on the other side of the wave was much lower than he thought, causing Pforsich to hit his head on the ocean floor.
Pforsich couldn’t move; his neck and spinal cord had been injured. His friends and other bystanders pulled him to safety as he lost feeling in the lower part of his body.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department helicopter, Henry-One, responded to the 911 call. The Henry-One crew treated Pforsich for his spinal injury before flying him over to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital where he is recovering.
According to updates to a memorial blog on caringbridge.org, Pforsich underwent surgery for a fractured spinal cord. Fifteen hours after surgery, he regained feeling and sensation in his forearms and hands.
“This is very encouraging, indicating that his spinal cord is recovering from the bruising and swelling which both were shown in the MRI,” Andy and Andrea wrote on caringbridge.org. “This early sign gives us much hope and has given him a boost in encouragement toward walking again some day.”
Pforsich is a star football and baseball player at Analy High School.
“He’s an outstanding senior athlete that is a key member of Analy’s championship varsity football and baseball teams,” said Sonoma West Publishers Sports Editor Greg Clementi. “He’s a two-way star in football, playing offense and defense, and a versatile infielder/outfielder in baseball.”
According to maxpreps.com, Pforsich has run 233 yards so far this season, averaging 13.7 per game. In Analy’s game against Petaluma High School, he scored one touchdown and ran 21 yards to help the Tigers win against the Trojans.
According to Analy High School Athletic Director Joe Ellwood, the Pforisch family has deep ties to the Analy community.
“Both of his parents went to Analy,” Ellwood said. “This is a generational family. This has really brought our school and the larger Sebastopol community together. That’s a huge testament to the type of kid Carson is.”
Analy High School Principal Raul Guerrero said the school spirit has deflated as students learned what happened Monday morning.
“It’s had a big impact on the campus,” Guerrero said. “A widespread sadness has transcended upon the quad.”
Guerrero said the school’s leadership class is making posters for students to sign.
“We’re working with his family to work out the best way we can support them,” Guerrero added.
Pforsich’s football and baseball careers will be placed on hold — perhaps indefinitely — while he recuperates in the intensive care unit at Memorial Hospital.
According to Erica Vogel, an Analy High School Booster president, Pforsich is “in pretty good spirits.” The family will know more about his status over the next couple of days.
“In the grand scheme of things, he has a long road ahead, but [Monday’s] progress was very encouraging,” Andy and Andrea wrote.
Tuesday was more encouraging. Pforsich’s breathing tube was removed in the morning. He gained additional feeling in his wrists and could feel his mother scratching his belly, Andrea wrote Tuesday night.
During the weekend, Pforsich will be moved to Santa Clara to a spinal cord injury facility where he will spend about three weeks in recovery and rehabilitation.
“He was really upbeat about the treatment and has his eye on the prize of full recovery,” Andrea wrote. “With is proven dedication to hard work toward positive results, just like any football practice, he’ll be putting in a huge effort to make this happen. It was really a great day and he’s in great spirits.”
Those wishing to reach out to the Pforsich family can do so through the caringbridge.org website. Search for Carson Pforsich to find his specific page. In addition, friends have established a fund to help with Pforisch's medical costs and more. Individuals interested in donating can do so at any Exchange Bank into the "Carson Pforsich Rehab Fund."
This story will be continuously updated. Check out www.sonomawest.com for the newest information.
Greg Clementi contributed to this story