LOCKPORT, Ill. -- It has been just about a year since a Lockport man was told he’d never walk again after suffering a spinal cord injuring in a skydiving accident.
But 60-year-old Curt Kmiecek is proving doctors wrong.
The experienced skydiver was hurt when his parachute opened to quickly and basically give him one of the worst cases of whiplash you could imagine. He landed in some trees and blacked out. When he woke up in the hospital, doctors told him he'd severely injured his spine and he was a quadriplegic. That news meant he would be wheelchair bound.
“They were treating him like he'd be paralyzed the rest of his life,” his wife Dana said. “But I know him. I know he's very strong willed.”
The 30-year veteran with special forces training found different doctors and started a rigid physical therapy schedule that six months later had him on his feet, then finally walking with a walking stick, which he says he his weaning himself off of.
“I attribute a lot of this to the military,” Curt said.
Over Thanksgiving, he surprised his wife with a dance. He says that was another milestone in this marathon of a recovery process.
His goal is to fly by this time next year.
Curt says a big part of his recovery is the support he has gotten from his wife and his whole family. He also says he and his wife had to do a lot of research on their own to seek out some of the best medical options.