“My sports dream is to meet Tim Tebow!”
Doer. Outdoorsy. Physical. Athletic. Daredevil. Fearless. Indefatigable. These are words used to describe Joey from Tampa, Florida. He spends very little time inside and prefers to be outside playing baseball, climbing trees, and riding his dirt bike Based on this description, it’s not a surprise to know that on July 8th, Joey backflipped off the Bay Way Bridge 65 feet into the water. However, it is sobering to realize that this backflip was almost fatal and probably life-altering for Joey. On Monday, October 15th, Joey celebrated his 16th birthday and his 100th day of hospitalization after his accident. At All Children’s-John’s Hopkins Hospital in Tampa, Florida, Joey underwent 2 major spinal surgeries and spent time in traction and wearing a halo. Now, in the day treatment program at Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Joey is doing rehab for a C6 incomplete spinal injury and is paralyzed from the waist down.
In addition to great extended family and friends, Joey and his parents have also received great support from his high school baseball team, which sponsored a car wash. This car wash was so popular that it caused major traffic jams and raised over $6000. The Tampa Bay Sports Commission sponsored a 50/50 raffle which raised $20, 000 for Joey.
Joey has played baseball since he was 6. When he was 10, he was the pitcher when his little league team, Keystone Little Allstars, won the semi-final game of the Little League World Series in West Virginia. He also made the varsity team at his high school as a freshman. Joey enjoys pitching and playing center filed. He loves the Tampa Bay Rays and the Florida Gators. He was a big fan of Tim Tebow when he was the University of Florida quarterback and an even bigger fan now that Tim is playing baseball. Joey’s dream is to meet Tim Tebow and to be able to play baseball again