A week into his stay at the Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care in Cincinnati, Ohio, David Beisel reports that he successfully walked on his own March 31.
“I had some parallel bars I was hanging on with my hands, but I had a real walk today,” he says. “So that was pretty phenomenal.
“I got to the therapy center about a week ago, and I have to say the progress in the week has just been amazing,” he adds. “And certainly feeling a little more like a human. Maybe I didn’t even realize how I wasn’t feeling that well until I got here and got feeling a little better and got my body moving more.”
Beisel suffered a neck injury March 12 in a fall while competing in the $10,000 Futures Prix at World Equestrian Center—Ohio. He underwent surgery March 17 to correct a damaged disc between the C3 and C4 vertebrae in his neck.
“They removed that disc and put a titanium disc in there and some bolts and hardware and bolted the neck together,” Beisel says. “My understanding is I didn’t sever my spinal cord, but I gave it a pretty solid thump when I took my spill. So, they said in spinal cord injuries, there’s a lot swelling involved. That shuts your whole system down, and now as the swelling goes out, then it’s just kind of a process of reprogramming all your nerves that got shut off and all your limbs. My injury was C3 and C4, I think they call it. Basically from the tops of my shoulders down was numb, so I have to teach everything from my shoulders down how to react; how to retrain everything again.”
While the road to recovery is measured in months, Beisel says his physical therapists are impressed with the strides he’s taken so far.
“It sounds like everybody’s pretty optimistic,” he says. “I could do some good things and hopefully make a good recovery.”
Following Beisel’s accident, WEC—Ohio show manager T.J. Campbell set up a GoFundMe page for Beisel, his wife Paige Beisel and children Izzy and Cooper. Since then, it has raised over $230,000, with the Kevin Babington Foundation donating an additional $25,000. Recounting this, David’s voice tremors.
“I would have to say the support has been overwhelming,” he says. “It really has. Just so many people. So many, warm wishes and financial support, and it just really blows you over. It’s unreal. Kind of takes my words a way.”
For the WEC Winter Classic #17, to be held April 6-10, Campbell and the Roberts family, who own WEC, have established a “Ride for David” campaign. In addition to increased prize money, all entry fees for the $50,000 Grand Prix will go directly to the Beisel family.
“I can’t wait to get back, but the outpouring of support has been unbelievable from the Roberts—everybody,” David says. “I can’t name one person. I mean just the list is endless: the Roberts, the Babington Foundation, and then every individual. It’s just been really special.
“I think most importantly I do need to thank my wife and kids,” he adds. “They’ve been here every day by my side and thanking God for keeping me alive. For all intents and purposes, I should have died that day. So, I’m very, very thankful just to be alive.
“I couldn’t believe it when I hit the ground, and nothing worked; that was my first thought. I thought, ‘I can’t believe I’m still alive.’ I’m thankful for somebody watching over me.”