Injured: Fall 2014
Injury: T7 Spinal Cord Injury
As a well renowned ski photographer with clients such as Eddie Bauer and National Geographic, Jim was used to spending his days exploring the edges of the Earth. In 2014, Jim began his trip to traverse the length of the Patagonia Ice Caps with skis and a packraft. While prepping for the 350 mile trek across the ice caps, Jim became paralyzed after the snow kite he was testing out got picked up by a gust of wind and slammed his body to the ground. Far away from help, it took over 24 hours for him to get to a hospital where he could receive proper medical attention for his injuries.
Originally from Cincinnati, OH, Jim was looking for a different type of life when he decided at 18 to move across the country and attend the University of Montana. There he discovered a love for the outdoors and traversing across terrain that had little human interaction. In 2009 Jim spent a month backpacking in Wrangell, Alaska, a place few people visit. After posting photos of the trip online he found himself on the front page of reddit.com, twice. From there his career as a photographer grew as people started seeing more of his photos. Jim seized the opportunity to work with clients while maintaining his outdoor, free-spirited lifestyle.
After becoming injured and spending a week in a Chilean hospital, he was flown to Ohio where he had five of his vertebrae bolted together. Doctors told him he may not be able to regain the mobility that he had lost in his body. After 7 weeks in the hospital, Jim went to a top rehabilitation hospital in Colorado where he slowly began to recover some of the functions of his body.
A year after his accident, Jim was skiing again on the bunny slope. From there he has become an avid mountain biker and has also developed a passion for art and illustration. Hearing of the Adaptive Training Foundation from a prior athlete he decided it was something he wanted to be a part of. As a part of Class XIV he is looking to shake up his routine and would like to have his mobility feel less frustrating. Jim looks to rebuild a life that feels as good and as meaningful as his it did before his accident.