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Injured 14-year-old's positive attitude an inspiration to many

By Jed Boal | Posted - Sep 30th, 2013 @ 11:15pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — What started as a tragic trampoline accident that left 14-year-old Kollin Galland partially paralyzed with a broken neck has become a source of inspiration for many as they follow Kollin's recovery.

For parents Gary and Jodie, this isn't the first time they've had to deal with difficult health problems with their children.

As Kollin battled through therapy Monday, Gary Galland, simply liked seeing the smile on his son's.

"He's the type that likes to be the best at whatever he does," Gary Galland said.

Now that means rolling over and digging deep to build up his arm strength, learning to swallow and sit again, or pick things up.

"I feel like I improve every day," Kollin said. "Just last week I couldn't sit for, like, 5 seconds. Now I'm sitting here by myself."

"Every little, teeny-tiny thing that he is able to accomplish, we celebrate it," Jodie Galland said

"(I'm) trying to get stronger so I can go home and do things by myself," Kollin said.

Before his accident, Kollin regularly performed tricks on the family trampoline, and even has video of his acrobatics.

Four weeks ago, while jumping at a friend's house, as a large group watched, he went into a double back flip — a trick he'd done in the pool, on skis, and on the trampoline many times before.

"It was dark, and so the tramp was black and the sky was black," Kollin said. "(I) thought I was landing on my feet, but I landed on my head."

Surgeons operated on his neck the next day. But Kollin is now paralyzed from the chest down.

"I've thought about how quick your life can change, in a fraction of a second," Gary Galland said.

Kollin's accident is the kind of change his family knows all too well. He has four older brothers pushing him, and two of them &8212; Devon, 20, and Ethan, 16 — spent plenty of time in the hospital with congenital kidney disease.

"Those were hard (days), because each night we didn't know if our kid was going to be alive in the morning," Gary Galland said.

Devon got a kidney from his mother, and Ethan got a kidney from his father.

"You learn what you're made of," Jodie Galland said.

Three of the Kollin's brothers visit him in the hospital. They stay strong together.

"I love coming to visit him because he gives us all strength," Devon said.

Kollin's brother Braydon, currently serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Africa, shares his support through emails and Skype. The family's faith and the prayers of loved ones and strangers through their blog have enabled them to endure mentally.

"You learn how much people care about you, and that's huge," Jodie Galland said. "We've done hard things before. This is another hard thing, but we can do it and be successful at it."

Despite the accident, the Gallands plan to keep their trampoline. They believe Kollin will still lead an adventurous life, just in a different way.

"From that one trick he was trying, his life is going on a different course," Gary Callan said. "But I think it's going to be a good one still."

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