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Small town rallies around quadriplegic

Small town rallies around quadriplegic

MUD LAKE, Idaho - People around the small town of Mud Lake have come together to support quadriplegic Chris Caudle.

Caudle was in a car accident July 31, 2007, just two months after graduating high school.

"I had gone 24 hours with no sleep," said Chris. "Fell asleep while I was driving."

His mother, Glenna Caudle remembers the night vividly.

"After the second state policeman went through town, you know how that mother gets that feeling something went wrong?" said Glenna. "We went looking."

Chris had to be airlifted to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. After two weeks in the hospital, he found out his life would dramatically change.

"They told me I was paralyzed from the neck down, and wouldn't be able to do anything for myself," said Chris.

Everyone around Mud Lake was stunned to see a young athlete, like Caudle, crippled.

"Everybody knows him here in Mud Lake, and the surrounding area," said Mud Lake resident Terri Mitchell. "He was quite the athlete in high school."

Some locals even chipped in to help the Caudle family out. Chris has mobility in his arms, but can no longer move his hands.

"He does everything you and I do," said Glenna. "He just has to do it in a different way."

Chris shoots a bow and arrow with his tongue and even shoots a specialized gun. Now the Caudles are hoping to get Chris out of his wheelchair and into an Ekso Bionic Suit - something Glenna says, no medical facility in Idaho has. The suit, accompanied with therapy, would enable Chris to walk again.

"The only way that we can get it, so he can utilize it, is to come up with the money to buy one," said Glenna.

With a $110,000 price tag, Mud Lake is again chipping in, raffling off items and selling paper cutouts of feet to be signed for a donation at the local restaurant, grocery and agriculture stores.

"Everybody helps each other," said Mitchell. "Any problem at all, everybody jumps up and says, 'what can we do to help you,' so that's one good thing about living out here in Mud Lake.

Idaho State Senator Jeff Siddoway even donated a bull elk hunt on his ranch to the "Help Chris Walk" campaign.

If you'd like to donate to the "Help Chris Walk" campaign click here.

If you would like to stay up-to-date with fundraisers for Chris click here. 

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