Chase Friedman is a Los Angeles-based artist. CaliforniaEven though his doctors warned him that he might be in a wheel chair for the rest of his life,, trains for a 5-K.
The accident occurred after the man tripped over, fell down and struck his head onto a sink while in a restroom.
“I was in Philly on New Year’s 2021, visiting a friend, he had a New Year’s party and then 7:00 a.m the next morning I got up just to pee, barely any sleep and apparently I tripped,” he tells Inside Edition Digital. “I fell, my head hit the sink and my head snapped back and I injured C4 to C7.”
“All I remember is walking into the bathroom and then waking up. They three girls around me just freaking out, there’s blood everywhere. I don’t know where I am. I don’t know who they are. I was like super concussed,” he adds. “Eventually they did call an ambulance, and when they showed up, they asked the girls how long I’d been there and they said 45 minutes, which means they’d been at least 45 minutes.”
Friedman was told at the hospital that he needed to have a neck spinal fusion.
“It was really bad. And then after that, they say they’re going to need to spinal fusion on my neck,” he recalls. “I remember when they wheeled me into surgery, I made eye contact with the anesthesiologist and I was just thinking to myself, I hope you have no idea what you’re doing. I hope to never awaken from my sleep. However, I did indeed wake up.
“The Please contact us for more information. came in after and they said, ‘look, we don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s possible that you will stay in this position. Then you might be able to move again. You have to take two steps to make this happen. You have to work as hard as you can in rehab and you need to do everything you can to stay positive,’” he adds.
After surgery, Friedman made a choice, saying, “I embarked on an extraordinary journey filled with determination, resilience and a whole lot of flipping people off.”
“Sometimes you’re in the zone. Three months in a row, I was in a zone. I felt happy. It was a great time. The whole thing was insane. And ended up where I am today,” he says.
Friedman’s rehab lasted about a full year.
“Eventually I felt like I kind of got to a good place and I stopped doing rehab. I was still in the gym and working out on my own, but it was in the beginning of this year when I decided I wanted to run a 5K,” he says.
The rehab process would have to begin again.
“Somehow we actually fixed it. And today, a week or two ago, I was at a track and I ran halfway around the track without stopping,” he says.
He credits “Lose Yourself” by Eminem as his motivation.
“I did the whole song. So it’s really looking like it’s going to be a possibility, and I’m hoping to do it maybe by the end of the year or in January,” he says.
Friedman’s recovery has been marked by a constant smile and sense of humor.
“Just smile through the pain. I’m not sure. They told me to stay positive. So I was looking at the bright side at all times,” he says. I watched comedies. I laughed with the nurses. It was important to me that I be happy. I felt so lucky to still be here. The doctors said that if the injury had been a centimeter lower, I would have died. Therefore, I have no idea how I managed. I was not looking. I don’t know how I did it, but I did it.”
Friedman hopes that he can motivate others and provide assistance to those who are struggling. He is now 27-years old.
“The way your brain and mind and just outlook on life has an effect on your body is huge. So you have to get your mind in the right place, even though it’s the hardest time in the world to get your mind in the right place from a situation that happens to you,” he says. “Not only is that just good for you physically, but mentally proving to yourself day after day that you can go past your limits.”