back to top

Unfortunate Accident Gives Roanoker New Passion

Kyle Wilson with artwork that he created for the event.

Like many parents, Katherine Wilson had spent many nights lying awake, worrying about her grown child’s whereabouts and safety – afraid that something terrible might happen. Son Kyle, 20, had been heading down the “wrong path,” spending too much time socializing and seemingly unconcerned about his future. She finally got to the point that she realized, “I just couldn’t do it anymore. I told Kyle that it is his life and I could not live it for him.”

Unfortunately, it wasn’t long after that that her worst fears came true – in June Kyle fell four stories (50 feet) off a downtown apartment balcony, which he openly admits was during a night of drinking. He miraculously survived the fall; however he broke his neck (a C-7 break) and is paralyzed from the waist down because of his injuries. This devastating turn of events has brought hardship but also positives to Kyle and his family.

Last weekend family friend Cindy Podeschi and her business partner Joanie Johnston held “Art Heals,” –  an art show / juried art competition / fund-raiser they put together to raise money to help with some of the family’s needs.  Podeschi got the idea when she heard that the family could really use a handicap accessible shower to make their challenging daily routine easier.

For a young man who suddenly lost so much, Kyle is disarmingly upbeat, often flashing a handsome smile even as he speaks of the tragic accident. He appears to have good movement in his upper body but for now, he is confined to a wheelchair. He says people at the physical therapy rehab tell him he was extremely fortunate in the way he fell – obviously from that height he should not have survived.

Another positive is that Kyle’s life has been turning around. He says he has a message for his peers: “Don’t binge drink!”  Rather than try to sugarcoat the situation, Kyle wants to get the message out and though it has come at a high cost for him, he knows his condition will help get their attention.

He describes his generation, saying “we are full of consumers; [meaning] we indulge; we are consumers of everything; we abuse our lifestyle.” He points out that the technology that has brought his generation texting and facebook can make getting into trouble too easy; “we always have the people there” at a moment’s notice.

Kyle is also looking to his future now. In addition to wanting to do everything he can to regain mobility and independence, he is planning on going back to school – “maybe Western, to follow up with art.” He says he just “fell into it my sophomore year when [classmate] Annie Weaver said ‘c’mon and take this elective with me.’” It became a passion and focus, and he also lauds his experience with art teacher “Mrs. D” – Sandi D’Alessandro, who “was like another mom to me.”

Along with 100 + artists, including Greg Osterhaus, Katrina Bell, and D’Alessandro, Kyle exhibited some of his own artwork at the event. Podeschi says that many volunteers worked on the project and proceeds from the sale of art, t-shirts, and concessions all went to Kyle. Katherine Wilson said the event was “just great—I love the energy; it’s overwhelming to see all the people who helped and came out.”

Wilson says she believes that “Kyle had this happen for a reason. He is an awesome kid who has never met a stranger. While it’s [being paralyzed] very sad for him, I told him he can reach out to people and use this to help others get their lives under control.” Even though it has only been five months since the accident, Kyle is inspiring those around him by doing just that.

To purchase t-shirts or send a donation to benefit Kyle, contact Cindy Podeschi at 540-353-8379 or email [email protected]

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -Fox Radio CBS Sports Radio Advertisement

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -Fox Radio CBS Sports Radio Advertisement

Related Articles