Ian Burkhart had barely finished his freshman year of college when he broke his neck.
Standing on top of a cliff in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, which overlooked an orange sandbar jutting into the Atlantic Ocean, he dove hands-first toward the deceptively shallow water below
“It happened so fast. There was this loud snap,” he says
The impact with the sandbar broke his vertebrae at what’s called the C5 level, paralyzing his body from the elbows down. He spent the next four months recovering. Doctors told him he’d never be able to use his arms again
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