COLUMBIA CITY — Life for Kent Hoffman changed drastically on July 23 at 6 p.m. After working hard at the farm all day in temperatures that exceeded 90 degrees, Hoffman came home to take a break. He was going to clean the pool and then lay out on the sun deck and take a nap. For some as yet unknown reason, he fell through the railing hitting his head and landing on his back. Hoffman knew immediately that he had broken his neck. He lay there unable to move for six hours. He felt that there was a good chance that he would lay there until the next morning before being found, as his wife was out of town and his son was out with friends.
Around midnight, his son, Eric, noticed his Dad’s truck was at the house, but couldn’t find him anywhere inside the house. He continued to look for Hoffman and found him outside. Eric call the EMS which took Hoffman to Parkview Whitley and then transported him to Parkview Regional Medical Center. The fall broke Hoffman’s C2 vertebrae. Doctors immediately took him into surgery and fused his C2, C3, and C4 vertebrae.
As a result of the injury, Hoffman was paralyzed from the neck down. His ability to swallow was also impaired because his epiglottis was frozen. After three weeks in the hospital , Hoffman was stable enough to be moved to rehab. After a setback due to a fever of unknown origin, He returned to rehab on August 14th and continues to reside there until an undetermined date.
Hoffman tells everyone that his goal is to walk out of rehab, not to go out in a wheelchair. Through intense therapy he can now be on a tilt table at 70 degrees without a drop in blood pressure. He can push himself backward in a wheelchair when they place his feet on the floor. Hoffman can move his arms on rollers and make snow angel motions with both arms. The therapists continue to work on all of his muscles and are waiting for them to “fire up.”
The fundraiser was held before and during Tuesday night’s volleyball game against DeKalb. The sale of spinal cord injury-themed T-shirts designed by the family, and items designed by the Columbia City High School Key Club and the Eagle Renaissance, and a free will offering all raised over $1,400 for the Hoffman family.
The following local businesses contributed to the Lady Eagle fundraiser: Northside Grill, Subway, Brewha, Main Bowl, Kernal Koladas, Aladdin Carpet, TNT Floral, Bravo Baskets, Star Tire, The Lube Center, Columbia Automotive, Pizza Hut, Pizza King, Papa John’s, Richards, Goody’s, The Watering Can, Ball Furniture, CC Deli, All Occasions Cakery, Dairy Queen, Dunkin Donuts, Arby’s, House of Style, White’s Flooring, The Nook, Bugsy’s, Northern Highlights,YMCA, TSC, Family Video, Mancino’s, LT Foundations, Orizon Real Estate, Starbuck’s, Annette Melvin and Tastefully Simple, Jaclyn Croussore Perfectly Posh, Adela Byers Pampered Chef, and Misty Schroeder, Trish Hinen, Lindsey Hierholzer and Sharon Cox.