On Saturday, May 9th, Chris Abad fractured the C-1 vertebrae while surfing Oceanside, California. If you don’t know much about Chris Abad, here’s some background info: he’s a great guy, a former professional surfer from San Diego -- remember that tail throw he did at the Lowers Pro that one year? I do. -- and now works for SPY with the official title of Mayor of Aquatic Fun (unofficially: Surf Marketing Manager). And if you don’t know much about the C-1 vertebrae, it’s in your neck and a basic understanding of biology should be enough for you to discern that it’s a very bad thing to break.
Chris has already had surgery and, to the best of our knowledge, it went well. Early reports say that the best case scenario will have Chris fully recovered, but with limited range of motion in his neck. Chris had to be airlifted to Scripps hospital, and vertebrae fusion surgery is many things -- cheap is not one of them. Chris and his family will be facing an enormous medical tab for all of this.
Keep in mind: this could have happened to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Fate just had it written for Chris -- an amazing surfer, an amazing person -- and so it’s our duty as (hopefully) amazing surfers and people to step up and support him. Thoughts and prayers are accepted everywhere, monetary donations are accepted here. Get well, Chris.