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Back to the Archives   Photographer/Paraplegic
 04.04.04

Earth Eye Images
Curtis Neeley

I live in Winslow, Arkansas on the Ozark mountains at the edge of a national forest with the most wonderful woman in the world. She also happens to be a talented writer. We have five children between the two of us! Together we are working on a book project.

On September 3, 2002 I was involved in a head on collision. I was saving gas in my tiny Geo Metro and my car was totally smashed as was I. I was cut from the car and flown by helicopter to a hospital in Ft. Smith. My left and right legs were badly broken, my left and right leg's fibia and tibia were broken with compound fractures  (bones knee down). My left leg's femur was broken. My pelvis was broken in six places. All my left ribs were broken. My left arm and left shoulder were broken. I also had five broken back bones.....While the doctors were fixing bones. My arm and leg were wired together and my pelvis was wired in place to mend. They discovered that my descending aorta was also torn open. During the heart surgery the lack of blood flow to my lower body caused a spinal injury that caused me to be paralyzed from mid-back down. I also suffered a major stroke during surgeries. At first I could not talk or move at all. I was in a coma for a couple of months. My wife visited while I lived at the hospital. Finally, my wife Rachel knew I would not want to be a vegetable. She did a "Do Not Revive" order and had me taken off life support. My brother was holding my hand and noticed it moving and told the doc. Here I am now. I am brain damaged and have forgot much of my life, but not all of it. Thank goodness all that CALCULUS was useless to my photography. My left arm and hand are nearly useless because of the nerve damage of the stroke. Yes, - all of this is typed one-handed.

Web Site: Earth Eye Images  Email: curtis@curtisneeley.com