El Dorado Community Rallies after Lake Injury of Zach Pickett
Aug. 5 is a date Zach Pickett will always remember. It was the day after the Ponderosa High junior class president had finished his Eagle Scout project. A member of the high school water polo and swim teams, he was working as a lifeguard at Cameron Park Lake, when he decided to take a dip.
He dived headfirst into the water and hit a sandbar, breaking his vertebrae and damaging his spinal cord. The accident left him paralyzed from the chest down.
"I can't feel my legs anymore," Zach, 16, recently recalled himself saying after coming up from the lake.
For four weeks, Zach has engaged in daily physical therapy at Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California in Sacramento. Though he has regained some sensation in his legs, his doctor said it's unlikely Zach will ever be able to walk again.
"The odds are stacked against him," said Dr. Kee Kim, the neurosurgeon who treated Zach at UC Davis Medical Center. "It'll be a year before we have a good idea where he's going to end up."
The outpouring of support from the El Dorado County community has been incredible, said Judy Pickett, Zach's mother.
A spaghetti feed last Thursday in El Dorado Hills drew 1,400 people and generated more than $37,000 for the family. Fundraising efforts are in full swing again this weekend, with ...