HOBBIES

Death Cheater to Mouth Painter: Quadriplegic Victory

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

Benny Diar

Becoming Quadriplegic: Do Not Resuscitate

My name is Benny Diar. In 2008 I was in a bad car accident, breaking my neck. I had to be resuscitated on scene, car on fire having to be extinguished, and the jaws of life used to get me out. I was now a C3,4, & 5 complete quadriplegic.

In the hospital, my heart gave out multiple times, and the defibrillator was used on five separate occasions to bring me back. Along with bad pneumonia, at one point I had a fever of 108.0°, where I was expected to die or have brain damage. The doctor convinced my family, that if I were to live, I would have no quality of life, and to put me on a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate). A couple days later, they woke me up out of a sedated coma. I wanted to live and I put my best friend, Chris, in charge of my medical decisions. Luckily, I did not come again, turning it into a non-issue. I was then told I would never move, eat, or breathe on my own again.

Fighting and Painting with Quadriplegia

I have been artistic my whole life, and have been a graffiti artist for a lot of it. During recovery, I did tons of physical therapy, Eastern medicine, and breathing exercises. I was also asked if I would like to participate in arts and crafts. At first I was reluctant because it felt childish, but once I tried painting with my mouth, I was hooked. It felt so good to be creating again. After tons of therapy and fighting at the facility in LA, I was able to eat real food again, breathe on my own, and completely get off a ventilator. Although my fingers and wrists don't work yet, I have been able to get back a good amount of movement in my arms. With all that progress, it was then determined I am now a C5 incomplete quadriplegic. After becoming more independent and learning to live on my own again, I was able to move back home to the Bay Area, where I still live and paint  to this day.

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