Sigma Nu is pleased to announce that Stevelyn Robinson of Winona, MS, will be the recipient of the 2014 Sigma Nu Charity Bowl. Read Stevelyn’s story.
Stevelyn RobinsonIn the days since a Dec. 2, 2011 school bus crash sent his future careening in a new direction, Stevelyn Robinson has grown to appreciate the little things, such as brushing his own teeth, holding a cup in his hands, even rolling over in bed. All were impossible in the first days after surgeons mended a fracture of his C-5 vertebra and delivered a bleak prognosis.
Stevelyn was thought to have a “complete” spinal cord injury, meaning there was little chance for recovered ability below the injury site. The 17-year-old would likely be paralyzed from the chest down, but his parents found reason for renewed hope after their son was transferred to Methodist Rehab in Jackson on Dec. 14. Stevelyn began using his arms and showing movement in his legs, and his injury was reclassified as incomplete.
Stevelyn and his 12-year-old sister, Jazalyn, were sitting near each other in the back of the bus when their driver pulled into the path of an empty log truck. “I jumped up and grabbed my sister and the log truck hit the bus and I fell back,” Stevelyn said. The impact knocked the bus on its side, and the 5-foot tall, 123-pounder ended up at the bottom of a pile of kids. Stevelyn didn’t realize the extent of his injuries, so when his parents arrived, he told them he was OK, and they hurried to Jazalyn, who was screaming in pain.
Stevelyn Robinson“We finally got her calmed down,” said his dad. “By the time we got back to Stevelyn, he was saying he couldn’t breathe. He didn’t realize he couldn’t move his legs until he got in the ambulance.”
Jazalyn had a skull fracture and underwent plastic surgery the day of the crash because of facial lacerations. She was able to go home a few days later. Stevelyn underwent surgery and spent a week in ICU. Five days later, he transferred to Methodist Rehab’s spinal cord injury program.
When Stevelyn arrived at Methodist Rehab, his work ethic immediately impressed everyone. While it’s too early to say whether he’ll walk again, no one doubts Stevelyn will give therapy his all. He has never been the kind to take the easy way out.
Stevelyn plans to be a computer engineer, and said he was encouraged by a visit to Methodist Rehab’s adaptive computing lab. There, he got a hands-on introduction to equipment and software that will make it easier to use his laptop at home.