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Steppler keeps positive attitude

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  • Steppler keeps positive attitude

    Steppler keeps positive attitude

    By Kay Palmer, Culbertson Correspondent

    CULBERTSON, Mont. - On May 16, 19-year-old Cody Steppler received a spinal cord injury, that has so far left him with no movement below his waist. The ATV he was riding at his parents ranch, 26 miles south west of Culbertson, rolled over.

    He was rushed to the hospital at Williston and from there immediately flown to Minot.

    After surgery and a week of recovery he was transferred to Colorado to the Craig Hospital at Englewood for rehabilitation.

    On July 7th, shortly after he returned home, his parents planned a "Welcome Home" potluck picnic. To their, and his, amazement, more than 400 people attended, even though it was held at Elmdale Hall, which is about 35 miles northwest of Culbertson and can be hard to locate.

    His mother was worried about the weather since he is sensitive to the heat and the morning was pretty warm. "Thank goodness it started to cool off about 11 a.m. and was an almost perfect day for it," she said.

    Some of the highlights of the day, according to Cody, were a service conducted by Pastor Al Beyer; hamburgers grilled by Buzz, Laurie and Joanie Mattelin; a lot of good salads, desserts and other food and a baseball game.

    "For the past two months, I've been through classes, therapy and a life changing experience. I say 'life changing' not only because I lost the use of my legs (temporarily), but I now realize how precious family, friend and life itself really are," he stated in a thank you note he wrote. "I couldn't have made it through this time in my life with out the support I received from everyone in our surrounding communities."

    The accident was almost exactly a year after his graduation from Culbertson High School and only about two days before his sister, Loni, and cousin, Wes, would be graduating. Family and friends managed to split their time between Minot and Culbertson so some of them could be with him and the rest at the graduation.

    Although at the present time Cody has no movement below the waist, he hasn't given up hope. "The doctors really don't know. It is possible, with research, that I might be walking again fairly soon. They just don't know. Sometimes with spinal cord injuries it just takes time," he said.

    His advice to anyone in a similar situation is, "It isn't the end of the world. Keep your head up! Keep on keeping on."

    Cody plans on going back to Bozeman to college this fall. He is majoring in animal science. Until going to Bozeman last year he had spent all of his life in northeastern Montana, and attended school in Culbertson from kindergarten through graduation. While there, he was active in sports, academics and music.

    Cody is the son of Bert and Kris Steppler. He also has a brother, Verlin.

  • #2
    I met and talked with Cody and his family when they were at Craig.

    Nice kid, nice family.

    Onward and Upward!