Living Life To The Fullest

July 17th, 2013 | By Gary No Comments

At age 17, Silas Hicks was just like any other active teenager. Growing up in Mississippi, his life revolved around family, friends and having fun. On April 16, 1994, he was doing just that as he spent the day diving off a pier and swimming in the Gulf of Mexico with friends. Forgetting to account for the tide going out, he dove in late in the evening and struck his head on a rock, severing his spine and paralyzing him instantly.

After almost drowning to death, Silas spent about a year in the hospital including several months at the Sheppard Spinal Center in Atlanta. During these months, he learned not only to get his independence back in daily activities, but also to regain his independence in participating in outdoor activities that he loved, like water skiing, scuba diving, swimming, fishing and, most importantly, hunting.

silas-hicks-4Almost 20 years later, Silas is still paralyzed in 90% of his body but that hasn’t kept him from achieving some amazing goals as he lives a very active and full life. He went to college at Old Miss, where he got a degree in graphic design and met his wife, with whom he now has a beautiful daughter. He also received a masters degree in graphic design and has a great full-time job.

Despite a busy schedule with work and family, Silas still finds time for some of his outdoor passions and he has even tried a few new ones like sky diving. His favorite activity, though, is still hunting. Now he is helping others to enjoy the sport. He is an active member of Razorback Ridge Outdoor Adventures, which offers wild boar hunting experiences on their 200-acre razorback hog habitat in Lexington, GA, for persons with disabilities and youth who are disadvantaged (learn more at www.razorback-ridge.com).

RROA gives people with disabilities an opportunity to get outdoors and experience something really exciting that they may not be able to do on their own. It gives Silas a lot of satisfaction to help others. As he says, “Every positive experience you can give a child or adult with a disability can go a long ways to helping them succeed in the future.”

Through his work with RROA and other organizations, Silas helps counsel and mentor others who have recently become paralyzed or disabled. As he shares his story, he is quick to point out the importance of family and friends. “I had a really great family support system and my friends were a huge key to keeping me active, not treating me any differently so there weren’t a lot of opportunities or time to get down about my situation.”

He encourages others with disabilities to keep active and push themselves to be as independent as possible. It will keep them healthier and happier, with more friends and perhaps a wonderful family like his.

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