In the early hours of October 6, 2012, Hunter Heck was walking with his cousin along a rainy sidewalk on his way to a friend’s apartment. Hunter, a junior at Miami University, had recently found his niche in the campus gymnastics club and had just left a party the group was putting on that night. The details of what would happen next remain unclear to Hunter, but as the pair crossed the street a large SUV came barreling towards them. His cousin saw the car first and jumped out of the way, but Hunter was not so lucky, the car slamming into him head-on at around 50 miles per hour.
Immediately rushed to the nearest hospital and airlifted from there to a larger medical facility, doctors began assessing the damage; a completely destroyed rib cage and multiple lacerated organs. In addition, his spine had been severely damaged, leaving him paraplegic even after an intense 7-hour surgery. It was not until 2 weeks later that Hunter would wake up from his coma and begin the process of determining his life’s course from there.
All throughout rehab Hunter was blessed with a supportive and understanding group of friends and family to help him get back into the swing of things. Returning to school after his accident, he earned his Bachelor’s in finance and hopes to achieve his MBA in the near future.
In 2018 he met and married his wife, Sophie, who will serve as Hunter’s dive buddy during his trip. He started a blog on to express his feelings and perspective on life after the injury as well as sharing important events going on in his world. It’s a great read for anyone going through the pain of a spinal cord injury or similar debilitating ailments.
Hunter’s cousins were certified by SODA, and they were the ones that told Hunter he should go talk to them, as they offered adaptive diving. The rest is history, he applied to be a dive pirate!