Ath­letes, oth­ers show their sup­port for Clo­vis teenager af­ter tram­po­line ac­ci­dent

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - News - BY AN­THONY GALAVIZ [email protected]­nobee.com An­thony Galaviz: 559-441-6042, agalav­iz_TheBee

Sup­port con­tin­ues to pour in for Makai Lloren, the Alta Sierra In­ter­me­di­ate School stu­dent who broke his neck at a tram­po­line park last week and has started ther­apy at Val­ley Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal.

The 13-year-old was at Com­mu­nity Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter re­cov­er­ing af­ter in­juries to his C6 and C7 ver­te­brae, his dad Durbin said. Makai un­der­went surgery last week and be­gan ther­apy on Fri­day at Val­ley Chil­dren’s, where he will spend a month be­fore go­ing home.

Makai has re­ceived well wishes from UFC pres­i­dent Dana White, UFC feath­er­weight cham­pion Max Hol­loway, world-cham­pion freestyle wrestler Kyle Dake (Makai’s idol), Buf­falo Bills quar­ter­back Josh Allen of Fire­baugh and many oth­ers, Durbin Lloren said. Eric LeGrand, the Rut­gers foot­ball player left par­a­lyzed from an in­jury in a 2010 game, sent his sup­port in a video.

Durbin was a stand­out wrestler at Fresno State (1984-88) whose sons have fol­lowed him into the sport. Makai’s older brother Durbin “DJ” Lloren is a red­shirt sopho­more at Fresno State.

The Buchanan High pro­gram do­nated pro­ceeds from tick­ets and T-shirt sales from Tues­day’s “Bat­tle of the Bears” dual meet against Selma to the Lloren fam­ily. Fans at the match wore white “Team Makai” T-shirts.

“It’s crazy how this thing got so big,” Durbin Lloren said. “There’s na­tional news call­ing, peo­ple all the way from the East Coast . ... His story is re­ally get­ting out there and I think It’s go­ing to be good for kids that are in­jured in the spinal cord. I feel for ev­ery­body that’s in the same sit­u­a­tion. Peo­ple are call­ing up and help­ing from all over the place. It’s just in­cred­i­ble.”

Makai’s cousin, McCarthy El­lis, es­tab­lished a Go Fund me ac­count to raise enough money to buy Lloren, known to many as “Kai Kai,” his first mo­tor­ized wheel­chair. As of Fri­day evening, the ac­count had $16,000 in pledges.

“Wrestling is a fam­ily and Makai is part of that fam­ily,” Alta Sierra In­ter­me­di­ate coach Chris Hansen said. “There’s a lot of bond and sup­port for Makai and we hope he gets back soon.”

The sup­port ex­tended be­yond the Buchanan wrestling com­mu­nity to Clo­vis Uni­fied: Clo­vis High en­cour­aged wrestling fans to bring a gift card for Makai of $10 or more to get in free to its Thurs­day night dual match against Clo­vis North.

Buchanan coach Troy Ti­rapelle said, “His fam­ily has been a part of the pro­gram for a while. His older brother, DJ, and his sis­ters came here and grad­u­ated. He has a sis­ter that comes here right now. He’s been in my pro­gram since he was a Garfield (El­e­men­tary School) Cub in off­sea­son stuff. Look­ing for­ward to him be­ing a Buchanan Bear. We hope for the best for the sit­u­a­tion he’s in right now.”

Makai was in­jured at Defy Clo­vis af­ter try­ing a dou­ble front flip and land­ing on his neck, his brother Durbin “DJ” Lloren said. The park, which opened in De­cem­ber, re­leased a state­ment:

“Our heart goes out to Makai and his fam­ily dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time. The safety and well-be­ing of our vis­i­tors is a top pri­or­ity, and we ad­here to the strictest stan­dards pre­scribed by the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Tram­po­line Parks. We look into ev­ery in­ci­dent that hap­pens at our parks with the ut­most care for those in­volved. We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing this is­sue and will co­op­er­ate fully with all in­volved par­ties.”

Spe­cial to The Bee

Makai Lloren is re­cov­er­ing af­ter a break of the neck and in­juries to his C6 and C7 ver­te­brae af­ter a tram­po­line ac­ci­dent last week. He was trans­ported to Val­ley Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal on Thurs­day. He will be­gin ther­apy on Fri­day.

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