Eliseo Jose Matos

$5 of $5,000 raised

Eliseo Jose Matos

Eliseo is originally from Puerto Rico. Growing up on the Caribbean island, you can hear the warmth in his voice as he talks about his many years of spearfishing underwater. Diving was a way of life for him and his family.

His father served in the military, and when he retired he and his family moved to the United States. Eliseo learned to be a ranch hand, mending fences, caring for animals, everything from cutting horns to giving necessary immunizations. He loved the work because he feels right at home in nature, outdoors.

One day on the way to work, he lost control of his truck, fishtailing into a ditch causing the truck to roll. The crash caused a spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia.

Five years now living life in a wheelchair, Eliseo considers himself very independent, going to the pool at least once a week for exercise. He easily gets in and out of the pool and finds comfort in the water as he always has as a child, even more so now that it allows him that buoyancy and freedom to move, escaping his wheelchair for a while.

When he heard about adaptive scuba diving, he felt a glimmer of hope of regaining a part of his life he thought was just a memory. He travels home to Puerto Rico occasionally, and after learning there are dive operators there with the ability to cater to adaptive divers, his dream of enjoying the underwater world again began to take shape. He contacted the Dive Pirates Foundation and hopes to join other divers like himself by the summer of 2024.

Eliseo will be training Instructor Jimmie Garza at International Scuba, in Carrollton, TX.

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Donation Total: $100.00