Father breaks neck while vacationing

Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 1:40 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

AURORA, Colo. (KMGH) - A father of two from Florida is hoping to walk again after he broke his neck while vacationing in Colorado.

He has a long recovery ahead. A picture shows Sawyer Bartell minutes before his life changed forever.

“It’s truly traumatic, but it was an accident at the pool,” said Sara Bartell, his wife.

The two were vacationing in Colorado over the weekend. While they were swimming, he dove into the pool and broke his neck.

“The C5 is shattered, C4 and C6 have fractures,” Sara Bartell said Wednesday.

Sawyer Bartell has no feeling from his chest down. As of now, he is only able to move his arms.

“One good thing this morning was I had my hand on his hand and I felt movement,” the wife said. “And I looked at him and he goes, ‘You felt that, didn’t you?’ And I was like, ‘I did.’”

They are stuck in Colorado. Their two little girls remain home with family in Florida for what could be months or longer.

“He’s scared, he really is,” Sara Bartell said. “He wants to hold his girls. We’re scared that we won’t see them for a while.”

She says being apart from their girls has been the hardest part for her husband.

“Seeing him feeling like he can’t be a father, that’s when I’ve cried in front of him is when I’ve seen him realize he’s missing out on these moments with our daughters,” Sara Bartell said.

Sawyer Bartell is scheduled for his second surgery at University of Colorado Hospital on Friday.

“I was asking will he ever walk again, his PT and she said, ‘Well, you know I can’t make any promises,’” his wife said.

She hopes to get her husband into another hospital soon to begin treatment.

“In my mind, I’m still thinking this is temporary,” she said. “This isn’t going to be forever. I’m going to have him back.”

Sara knows the bills will start piling up soon, as the family will be without two incomes for the time being. For now, her focus is her children and her husband’s recovery.

“I try to remain hopeful, but I also need to prepare for the worst,” she said. “I am managing his life and my daughters’ to the point where I want all of them to have happy lives.”

There is a GoFundMe page for Sawyer Bartell’s recovery. It had raised more than $32,000 by Wednesday.

Copyright 2021 KMGH via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.