From Life Threatening Injury To CIF Champion, The Nick Thanh Story

Chris Barriga & Samantha Thompson, Writer

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Everyday,  lives change  in ways that we can’t always anticipate. Life is delicate- one event or decision could change the course of your entire life. For Nicholas Thanh, a CHS senior he experienced a  life threatening injury on the wrestling mats last winter.

As a junior, Thanh’s life flashed before his eyes when he was temporarily paralyzed during a wrestling match.

The injury occurred after being slammed to the ground. Thanh and his coaches believed it to be a normal takedown by the opponent because it was legal, but the way Thanh landed damagedhis nervous system in his arms and legs.

According to Thahn, “I couldn’t really recall  what was going on…All I could remember was that I was able to move my eyes left to right. My arms and legs shut down completely and I couldn’t talk.”  

Thanh’s symptoms were the result of a blow to his spinal column, which caused himtemporary paralysis. Paralysis can be be caused by serious injuries like in Thanh’s case. All parts of the body can become stiff, flaccid, and numb. When both arms and legs are paralyzed it is known as tetraplegia or quadriplegia.

 

Thanh was then rushed immediately from the wrestling mats to the hospital. Doctors in ICU made sure to keep his neck and back as still as possible to keep it stable. This method used by doctors is known as immobilization. Most patients don’t say anything after they’ve been hit with paralysis but after a while, Thanh started to talk. When able to talk, all Thanh asked was “What’s going to happen to me?”

Thanh’s wrestling coach, Coach Knuppel, was there by his side after the match to check in on how he was doing. “Nick’s incident was honestly an unfortunate fluke,” Coach Knuppel stated, “I’ve seen people slammed like thatonthe matsbefore and they got up just fine. Just goes to show how life can take a turn so quickly.”

The CHS Wrestler was stationed in the hospital for more than a month so he could get his movement back. Heavy doses of medicine helped relife his pain slightly so it wouldn’t bother him as much.  

 

It took about four to six months to fully recover from the catastrophic injury, also had physical therapy to sit in a chair for an hour till he could recover, Thanh’s grades were very poor he was not in school for a month he was almost going to have to make up his junior year because he was failing all of his classes. “I went to go visit nick when he was in the hospital and he looked pretty out of it.” Knupple says.

 

 

Today, Nicholas Thanh’s has recovered fully from his injury.  In fact, he is already starting to practice for this years wrestling season! Nicholas Thanh is a true inspiration. His determination and boldness displays a significant lesson to others; to push forward through life despite the obstacles it may hurl at you. In doing so, you will learn to grow as an individual and become a stronger willed person than before.

Furthermore, in this years CIF tournament Nick Tanh placed 

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From Life Threatening Injury To CIF Champion, The Nick Thanh Story