A 28-year old CrossFit trainer severed his spine as he tried to lift more than 200 pounds during a weightlifting competition in Southern California.
Colorado native Kevin Ogar is recovering in Western Medical Center’s critical care unit and is not expected to be able to walk again.
His doctor, neurosurgeon Mohsin Shah, called what happened during the Jan. 12 OC Throwdown competition a "freak catastrophe." He likened the injury to someone being thrown from a moving car.
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“He’s got everything I think in him that would allow him to recover from this in a very meaningful way, even if not walking... certainly (being) able to do a lot much more productive things,” Shah said.
Ogar is in the critical care unit, working toward sitting up and planning to talk publicly. He’s had two surgeries so far.
“Kevin has a heart of gold and he always has,” said Megan Ogar, his sister. "And that should get him through this."
Some doctors say the popular conditioning and strength training program is no more dangerous than any other. In a statement to NBC4, organizers for the Costa Mesa event said there was a medical team by Ogar’s side and the paramedics arrived within minutes.
“He doesn’t feel diminished, like, he doesn’t feel like he’s lost much,” said Megan Braunsdorf, a friend.
Ogar has no insurance, so friends are hoping to raise money for his recovery. Those who know him say he has the guts and the will to go on.
“It would be really easy to look at this and see all the things that Kevin has lost,” his sister said. “But I think I prefer to look at all the things that Kevin still has.”