If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin Unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain. ~ Emily Dickinson
Michael-Ryan (“MR”) Pattison entered his freshman year at WSU focused on making the most out of college in every way – he joined a fraternity, he excelled in his classes; he continued his athletic involvement. He worked out every day at the recreation center, played intramural sports, and he often went home to Bellevue on the weekends to play basketball on a team he had been playing with for five years.
Driven to excel, he even obtained a real estate license before graduating high school However, MR was a gifted athlete. He excelled at every sport he tried, whether it be football, baseball, basketball, track, cross country running, snow skiing, golf, wakeboarding, swimming, waterskiing or any other physical activity. He was competitive and strived to be the best at whatever he set his mind to do. He not only worked hard to be the best player out there, but demanded the best from his teammates as well.
During the 10 years of year-round sports, MR never missed a practice. After an injury in high school football, he was told to take time off for the swelling to go down. MR said his team needed him to show that you can work through the pain so he wrapped his foot and headed back out on the field.
On Saturday, May 28, 2005, the day MR Pattison’s life changed forever, when he dove into Lake Chelan. Unbeknownst to him, as there were no warning signs, boulders were submerged below the water right below the area into which he dove. MR had no idea that the dive would render him a tetraplegic (formerly “quadriplegic”) with no ability to move anything below his neck.
SKW attorneys sued the City of Chelan, the owner and operator of the park where MR was injured. He settled with the City for $4.5 million, which will help to cover his medical costs, daily assisted living costs, etc.
MR is now a champion of helping others with spinal cord injuries. Visit the Michael Ryan Pattison Foundation website at acureiscoming.org. All of us at SKW are inspired with MR’s courage, fortitude and vision for a better future for all who have spinal cord injuries.