Suburban man making remarkable comeback after skydiving accident

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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.

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3 comments

  • Randy Newman

    Doesn’t look like he did much research if he’s going to Athletico for his PT. It’s the equivalent to trying to find the best cheeseburger in Chicago and going to McDonalds.

    • Warren Peterson

      Obviously you don’t know Curt and Dana as they are a couple very intelligent people and Im sure they have done their research on all procedures to include PT. He’s walking, right? Seems to me they have made awesome decisions!

      • Randy Newman

        Not sure paying $500 dollars an hour to a garden variety PT center is the best way to go. I’m that he’s walking, but I’m curious as to what kind of progress he could have made with a reputable PT.