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Former Trojans champion in ICU with neck injury

Family and friends of a former Pahrump Valley High wrestling champ are seeking financial help to offset growing medical bills after an accident at a sporting event.

Former Trojans wrestling state champion James “Kansas” Chapman broke his neck June 6 during the Spartan obstacle race in Salinas, California and remains in the hospital partially paralyzed.

Trojans wrestling coach Craig Rieger, who has remained in contact with Chapman since the athlete graduated in 2008, said Chapman injured two of his cervical vertebrae while jumping into a mud pit during the race.

The family set up a Gofundme account online and on it said that his current prognosis is quadriplegia, but they believe their son can pull through.

“There is always a chance for recovery,” the family said on Gofundme. “If there is anyone who is physically and mentally capable of making the best recovery possible it is James.”

The 25-year-old Chapman helped anchor the state-championship wrestling team during his senior year in 2008. He won individual state titles in 2007 at 145 pounds, and 2008 at 152. As a freshman he finished 4th at state. Chapman also played football and pole vaulted for the track team.

Rieger said James was a tough, intense wrestler and very intelligent.

“He was very driven and had just graduated in May from UNR with honors in chemical engineering,” Rieger said.

Rieger had been talking to the wrestler prior to the accident about his induction to the Pahrump Valley High School Hall of Fame scheduled for this fall.

Chapman is currently in the intensive care unit at Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, according to the family, and will likely be rehabilitating at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado. That facility specializes in traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.

The Chapman family would like to thank everyone for the love and support during this difficult time.

“Our son’s recovery will be a very long process for him and his family and will not be without costs that are adding up very quickly,” the family said on Gofundme. “With the severity of his spinal cord injury, the rehabilitation and cost of medical care will be through the roof.”

The family is in need of funds and said the funds raised will go directly to the family to help cover the costs of hospitalization, rehabilitation therapies and helping him adjust to his new life. Go to http://www.gofundme.com/wz9n5g to donate to the fund.

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