Injured Maple Grove Runner's Recovery Inspires Teammates
A diving accident sidelined a talented cross country runner for Maple Grove High School. But, his road to recovery has been an inspiration to his team.
Sixteen-year-old Charlie Raasch was training to be a YMCA camp counselor in Longville last month. He says he dove too high and hit the bottom while practicing a shallow dive.
Charlie lost the feeling in his arms and legs, and was rushed to the emergency room where doctors told him his neck was broken. His C-5 vertebra was split right down the middle.
"It was kind of hard seeing the things I couldn't do because I'm always mobile," Charlie said.
He's not able to participate in cross country this fall, but he is able to walk and is now the manager of the team.
"He has a competitive spirit even when he's not running," coach John Heistand said. "He'll motivate the other kids to push."
"Through this kind of stuff you can tell the true character of an individual. He's a great young man ... he's feeding off that and others are feeding off that, including myself," Charlie's father said.
Charlie is hoping to recover in time to run track in the spring, and get ready for next year's cross country season.