Royal Oak man suffers spinal injury in shallow water

A Royal Oak man hospitalized after seriously injuring his spine.

He jumped into shallow water while vacationing up north. Now his loved ones have a warning for everyone.

The first backpacking trip Kevin went on was with me in the porcupine mountains," said Jake Sawicki. "We've been doing everything together for a long time."

As a life long friend, Jake Sawicki has been through the best of times with Kevin Dalley and now some of the worst of them. His buddy since the age of 3, recently underwent five hours of surgery and is currenty in a Grand Rapids rehab center recovering from a severe spinal cord injury.

"You don't want to hear that kind of news about someone you love," said Andrew Greiner. "But he has an amazing spirit and that lifts us up and keeps us optistic."

Kevin was up north with some friends in late July enjoying the outdoors and the water when his life changed in an instant.

"They both decided to dive in not knowing how shallow it was," Sawicki said. "He hit his head and the other guy had to pull him to shore."

Friends have since created a GoFundMe account. in the last week it raised $44,000 and that's just the beginning. A benefit concert and golf outing are in the works.

Kevin and family want to stress that this can happen to anyone even if you grew up on the water.

He won't know for a few weeks exactly how much damage has been done. But right now he can't walk and has limited use of his hands and arms.

His family and friends hope that around the clock care and determination will hopefully make all the diffence.

"I know they are starting from the shoulders down," said Grenier. "They want to get his wrists hands moving his triceps and hopefully get felling back in legs and feet and start wiggling his toes."

Kevin who will celebrate his 25th birthday in the hospital next week. He has always led a very active and social life, even joining the Michigan State University ski club in college.

His roomates now cannot wait for him to get better and come back home, so they can one day plan another adventure with him.

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