Shane Hultine was born in rural Illinois and attended local community college before moving up to Northern Illinois University, acquiring a B.S. in Industrial Engineering Technologies and Management. Soon after, he moved to Aurora, Illinois to begin work as an assistant manager at a local production facility. It seemed that things were on the right track for Shane until one night he was involved in a horrific motorcycle accident. As he reached an intersection a car unknowingly pulled out in front of him and without adequate time to avoid it, his bike slammed into their broadside at high speed. The damage was extensive; numerous fractures and a spinal fracture from the C-6 to T-2 vertebrae, resulting in a complete spinal cord injury at the C-8 vertebrae and requiring a spinal fusion procedure from C-6 to T-2 to repair what could be salvaged. Shane was classified as a C-8 quadriplegic from the trauma.
Though the following process of rehab was tough on Shane, he had no shortage of love and support to get him through. For a long time, a large external fixator was attached to his knee in order to mend some of the damage from the crash, severely limiting his ability to participate in much of his rehab. After getting the device removed, therapy became easier and more rewarding. After discharge, he moved back to Omaha. His father was quadriplegic as well, and the insight and empathy he shared with his son were invaluable in helping Shane understand his situation. With enough hard work and determination, he managed to regain a lot of his upper body mobility, and now he is medically reclassified as a T-2 paraplegic.
He hadn’t considered swimming a possibility for him at first, but after pool sessions in rehab and a bit of snorkeling, he was referred to DiVentures in Omaha, Nebraska to see if he might enjoy adaptive scuba diving. We hope that Shane can found freedom in the waves with his instructor Mike Poole of DiVentures!