For RDR Sports, the biggest sports story hit Roswell like a hurricane. It was sudden and no one wanted it to be true, or to have happened. It was a football injury that would change the course of Goddard football player Dominic Chavez’s senior year and life.
Dominic Chavez was injured during football practice over the summer. Shortly after the injury occurred on July 3, Dominic’s family provided RDR Sports with a statement. It read, in part: “Our son, Dominic Chavez accidentally injured his neck at football practice. Dom broke C5 and there was a displacement of the C5/C6 vertebrae with spinal cord involvement.”
They reported he had no feeling from his chest to his lower body and was unable to move his legs. “… We were flown to UNC El Paso, Texas, where they rushed him unto emergency surgery to fix the vertebrae and relieve the compression on his spinal cord. The doctors said it went well.”
RDR Sports connected with Dominic Chavez and his father Robert Chavez. There hasn’t been an update on Dominic’s condition in a while and before the year ends, we wanted to let the sports fans know how he is progressing.
“We’ve been working on a routine of rehab and life,” Robert Chavez said. “We were in a bit of a holding pattern as Dominic finished his semester classwork and prepared to start the NRN (NeuroRecovery Network). He also continues his workouts with personal trainers here at Craig Hospital Englewood, Colorado, in their Peak Gym.”
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Robert Chavez said that with NRN comes an intensive schedule of rehab at a minimum of three hours per day. The family is hoping to maximize the movement he has and hopefully increase independence.
To date, Dominic is able to move the index finger on his right hand, and the middle and pinky finger on his left. (He says he can point something out, flip you off and pinky promise — he started getting some movements in his left thumb!
“Thank you for the continued support,” Robert Chavez said. “You all are amazing and help us to stay #Domstrong.”
Dominic has the movement of the 4th toe on his left foot and the pinky toe on his right, although the pinky isn’t as reliable. In addition to rehab, Dom also finished the first semester of his senior year with an A. One more semester to go before graduation.
“Thank you for all the continued support and prayers,” Dominic Chavez said. “ Hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday! See you in the New Year.”
Dominic Chavez prepares to move forward with life
From the Nov. 12 edition of the Roswell Daily Record
Goddard’s Dominic Chavez continues to get better and heal. He is in the next phase of his life. In a little while, he will be ready to be discharged from the hospital.
Since his accident, RDR Sports has been kept informed about his condition by his parents: his dad, Robert Chavez, and mother, Julie Chavez.
“It’s been a busy couple of weeks,” Robert said, “transitioning from inpatient therapy and getting Dom’s outpatient therapies scheduled and into a rhythm.”
Robert said the next few months will consist of practicing everything they have learned in therapy, which includes setting new goals and doing their best to build a new normal. For the Chavez family, their new normal is anything but normal.
Julie and their sons came and spent the weekend helping move into a new apartment as they enjoyed spending time as a family. Robert said, “It was a blessing to experience. We’ll probably be here until March, but whatever it takes for progress and to keep moving forward.”
“We continue to meet amazing new people every day,” Robert said. “When we were trying to find housing, we reached out to some former Craig Hospital (located in Englewood, Colorado) alum and families to point us in the right direction, as accessible housing is not as easy to find as you would think. Especially with the specifics, we needed for Dom.”
Robert said that while they were moving, and had to start with an almost bare apartment, the same Craig Hospital community continued to reach out and offer support. Robert was overwhelmed as they were gathering gently used items for their apartment and soon it began to fill with most necessities the Chavez family would need. It began to feel more like a home away from home.
Robert and Julie will switch off in December, so Julie can be here with Dom and Robert can be with the boys making sure they get some renovations finished up.
Dominic Chavez was injured during football practice over the summer. Shortly after the injury occurred on July 3, Dominic’s family provided RDR Sports with a statement. It read in part: “Our son, Dominic Chavez accidentally injured his neck at football practice. Dom broke C5 and there was a displacement of the C5/C6 vertebrae with spinal cord involvement.”
They reported he had no feeling from his chest to his lower body and was unable to move his legs.
“… We were flown to UNC El Paso, Texas, where they rushed him into emergency surgery to fix the vertebrae and relieve the compression on his spinal cord. The doctors said it went well,” the family’s statement continued.
Robert said last week, “Dom amazes us with his strength, determination, and level-headedness. He pushes for new goals and keeps us focused on moving forward. We wish the Roswell community the best for their continued support.
“Good luck to all of our local football teams in the upcoming week and represent like only Southeast New Mexico can. We will be watching from here.”
Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or firstname.lastname@example.org.