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Ogden – A Weber County teen is recovering from surgery in the intensive care unit after breaking his neck in a skiing accident.
Aza Mathew Topik of West Haven is an 18-year-old who fractured his C5 vertebra when he fell at Snowbasin on Sunday.
“He hit a little bump, grabbed the front end of his board, flipped forward with his face buried in the snow, sort of like a scorpion, so his back legs were a little bit elevated and his body was in a C shape,” Aza said. Topik’s mom, Lori Buck, explained.
Lori Buck learned of the accident when she got a call on Sunday.
“I could hear the panic, I could hear him crying,” she said. “He said, ‘Mom, come to the basin. Come to the basin. I can’t move. I fell. I can’t move. I can’t feel my legs. Come here.'”
Lori Buck and her husband ran to the ski resort and arrived just in time to get her in an ambulance to McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden.
“At that moment, my heart sank. My heart sank,” Lori Buck said. “But I can’t let it show because I need to be strong for him.”
Doctors performed surgery on Monday to fuse Aza Topik’s cervical spine, the family said.
David Buck, Aza Topik’s stepfather, said: “It was heartbreaking for me, my mum and everyone to see him lying there helpless.”
Aza Topik returned to a lot of activity in his upper body on Tuesday.
“He still doesn’t feel anything from the waist down,” Lowry Barker said.
Doctors gave Aza Topik a 5 percent chance of walking again, the family said.
“Some pretty extensive spinal cord injuries,” she explained.
But the family hopes he will get through it, saying Aza Topik is as determined as they came.
“He’s my kid. He’s a fighter,” Lori Buck said.
“I think he can beat it,” Azar’s sister, Gabby Topik, said. “With his attitude and his stubbornness, he’ll walk again.”
“He just has a really big heart and we knew he was going to play this,” David Barker said.
The family said Aza Topik did not have health insurance. They created a GoFundMe* to help with medical bills.
According to GoFundMe, “he needed years of rehab and physical therapy before he could walk again.”
*KSL.com does not guarantee that funds deposited into an account will be used for the benefit of the person named as the beneficiary. If you are considering depositing funds into this account, you should consult your own advisors, otherwise do so at your own risk.