Professional surfer Shawn Dollar breaks neck, in stable condition

Wednesday September 9th, 2015

Professional surfer Shawn Dollar is in stable condition after breaking his neck while surfing off the Central California coast Monday. 

Dollar was surfing at the location of the Titans of Mavericks competition in Santa Cruz but was not competing in the event. The event’s organizers released a statement on his condition Tuesday. 

Dollar was injured when he attempted to ride a 25-foot wave. He “broke his neck in four places, incurred head trauma and a concussion,” the event’s organizers said. He was able to move himself to safety and was taken to an emergency room. As of Tuesday, he remained hospitalized in stable condition. 

“I’m so thankful I’m alive and present today,” Dollar said in a statement released by Titans of Mavericks. “Being surrounded by my loved ones through this time has been paramount for me. I’m so grateful for those who where there in my scariest and darkest hour and who acted on my behalf to get me to safety and reach the hospital in time. I’m thankful to learn that even with these severe injuries I will make a full recovery. They will be met with challenges but with my family’s support and community encouragement I will be back in no time.”

In an Instagram post, Dollar said he expects to make a full recovery. 

Fellow surfer Darryl “Flea” Virostko told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that Dollar “got really lucky, as lucky as the doctors have seen.” Virostko said he spoke to Dollar Tuesday morning and Dollar said he would be OK. 

“With four breaks in his neck, he got really lucky that he didn’t sever his spinal cord,” Virostko told the San Francisco Chronicle. “The doctors were really amazed. It was a bit of a miracle for Mr. Dollar.”

Dollar, 34, holds the world record for paddling into the largest wave, a 61-foot wave off the coast of San Diego. 

- Dan Gartland

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