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

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.

Be Sociable, Share!
Add Comment Register

Leave a Reply


When We All “Adapt,” We All Win!

Usually, we use the “Adaptive MOVES” feature to talk about the latest technology, equipment, or activity being used to enable persons with disabilities to play sports and participate in recreational activities. This issue,…


Twilight Criterium is Changing Course

Athens’ Twilight Criterium is returning  April 24 and 25, and it is bringing with it some exciting changes! While previous Twilight races took place in the historic center of Athens, construction on Clayton…


Great ACTIVities for Seniors

We’ve written about everything from archery to yoga, bird-watching to walking … all of which are great activities for those who are over 50 years of age. Before I continue, though, I’d just…

Things to Consider Before Getting a Pet

With nicer weather approaching, many families may be wondering if now is the right time to welcome a four-legged friend into their home. “Animals are a great way to teach responsibility, get active,…


Fishing for Food, Fun, and Fitness

It is tempting to begin this article by writing “I enjoy fishing.” In all truth, I do enjoy fishing, but I’ve only been fishing (as in, with a rod and reel and bait)…


Project LEAF

When I entered my first year of graduate school, my heart and mind were overflowing with dreams and goals. I knew I wanted to make a difference. Upon graduating from Valdosta State University,…


“Hour” kids need this much physical activity every day

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children and adolescents have 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day.  Aerobic (brisk walking, runninga) should make up the majority of…



“I don’t want to see a single head lowered in this locker room.” The Shell’s voice had more body than it usually did. It felt heavier and more powerful. “Losing a game is…