Paralyzed Santa Clarita Teen Strives to Walk Again
Seventeen-year-old Justin Covarrubias is a senior at Canyon High School in the Santa Clarita Valley.
He spends his weekend with friends, was crowned Homecoming King and recently became a licensed driver.
For years, he has loved the sport of motocross and was sponsored by name brands. Last year, he competed in a national race.
Justin got into a devastating crash on Sept. 28, 2014 that paralyzed him from the waist down. He spent five weeks in the ICU and three months at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where a team of doctors and nurses worked daily to rehabilitate him.
Now, Justin is trying to be as independent as possible while continuing to adjust to his limited mobility.
On Aug. 37, 2015, Justin was given the opportunity to test out, and ultimately train with, a ReWalk Exoskeleton at Dignity Health-Northridge Hospital. The exoskeleton give paraplegics, like Justin, the chance to walk again.
But the exoskeleton is $77,000 and after all of Justin’s medical treatments over this past year, insurance won’t cover much, if any, of the gear. Justin’s mom lost her job because she missed too many days while Justin was in the hospital and Justin’s dad works full time.
In response, the Santa Clarita Valley community, friends and family have come together to host several fundraisers to help Justin walk again.
Over the past few months, there have been holiday boutique fundraisers, a game night fundraiser at Justin’s home and the Justin Covarrubias Ride Day fundraiser at AV Motoplex in Palmdale.
While the fundraisers have benefited Justin’s cause greatly, the family hasn’t reached their goal yet.
Justin’s mom, Jamie, hopes to see him walk across the stage at graduation in spring 2016, which will only be possible if Justin and his family can raise enough funds for the exoskeleton.