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Father of two breaks his neck while vacationing in Colorado

Sawyer Bartell.jpg
Posted at 5:33 PM, May 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-27 13:46:16-04

AURORA, Colo. — A couple visiting Colorado is now stuck in the state after the husband broke his neck, and now the couple is not only worried about losing income, but about not being able to travel home to see their two daughters.

Sawyer Bartell, 28, and his wife, Sara, were vacationing here in Colorado over the weekend. While the two were swimming on Friday, Sawyer dove into the pool and broke his neck.

"His neck is broken in three different vertebrae. The C5 shattered, C4 and C6 have fractures but they didn’t have to remove it in the first original surgery," Sara explained.

Sawyer has no feeling from his chest down. As of now, he’s only able to move his arms.

"One good thing this morning was I had my hand on his hand and I felt movement. Up until now he has not been able to move his hands. I looked at him and I said, 'You felt that, didn't you?' He was like, 'I did,'" Sara said.

Sawyer and Sara are stuck in Colorado while their two little girls remain home with family in Florida for what could be months or possibly longer.

"He's scared, he really is. He wants to hold his girls. We’re scared that we won’t see them a while for a while," Sara said of her husband.

Sara sad being apart from their girls has been the hardest part for Sawyer.

"Seeing him and having him feel like he can’t be a father. That’s when I’ve cried in front of him, is when I’ve seen him realize he’s missing out on these moments with her daughters," she said.

Sawyer is scheduled for his second surgery at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital on Friday, May 28.

"I was asking will he ever walk again at his PT and she said, 'Well, you know, I can’t make any promises," Sara said.

She said she hopes to get her husband into Craig Hospital soon to begin treatment.

"I try to remain hopeful, but I also need to prepare for the worst. I am managing his life and my daughters to the point where I want all of them to have happy lives," she said.

While her focus is on her children and her husband's recovery, she said the bills will start piling up soon as the family will be without two incomes for the time being.

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