A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help a paralyzed New Jersey veteran who needs a specially equipped truck to get around.

Michael Christopher Milford is a six year veteran of the US Air Force who was swimming with his family one day in 2009 at Sandy Hook when he broke his neck diving in the shallow water. He was airlifted to Jersey Shore Medical Center and then taken to the University of Medicine and Dentistry for more intensive care.

Michael had suffered a spinal burst fracture to three discs in his neck that left him a quadriplegic. Since Michael was serving in the Reserves and not on active duty at the time, the military was unable to help cover the cost of his injuries.

He was able, with help, to purchase and retrofit a GMC Sierra for over $120,000; it needed extensive additions for Michael’s specific needs. It featured a lift that put Michael’s 600 pound wheelchair in a position to allow him to drive, giving him some freedom. Unfortunately, the company that did the work used a faulty design; they went out of business and Michael had no recourse. The lift no longer worked and despite spending over $40,000, it couldn’t be fixed.

Michael is now basically trapped in his home; his chair is too heavy to lift and he needs it to keep his body in place. That’s where the GoFundMe comes in: Michael’s family is trying to raise the $120,000 needed to buy him another truck tailored to his specific needs. This Iraq veteran just wants as normal a life as he can have.

If you want to help Michael get a new truck that will give him some mobility, here is the GoFundMe page.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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