Cameron is a 15 year old with a personality as big as Texas. His presence can be felt throughout the entire Houston Shriners Hospital. When approached to share his story he responded by saying, “I feel like I am famous and a legend!” Someone as charismatic as him, is sure to feel well known after spending over three months with us as an inpatient.
A native from Vidor, Texas, Cameron has been a football player since he was 7 and has nearly played every position possible, “I’ve played quarterback, defensive end, linebacker and even safety (in one game)”. His inpatient room, proudly adorns a Vidor Pirates football helmet, signed by all his teammates. The Texans blanket over his bed, clearly lets everyone know that he chooses the Houston team over all the rest in the NFL.
In July, Cameron was waiting for his father to get home while jumping on a trampoline. After attempting a double front flip, he landed on his neck. This resulted in a spinal cord injury. He was originally airlifted to a hospital in Galveston before arriving to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Houston, or as Cameron puts it, “I got in the car and rode to the moon and back before getting here.” Cameron’s mom comes from a family where both of her grandfathers are Masons. When insurance issues arose in Galveston, a decision was made to transfer to the Houston Shriners Hospital to get a high level of care regardless of their ability to pay.
Cameron has undergone surgery and therapy as an inpatient at the Houston Shriners Hospital ever since. When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston at the end August, Cameron and his family remained inside the hospital. “I was never really scared about the hurricane, I actually am a fan of stormy weather. In my opinion, bad weather helps you relax and get rid of a bad mood.”
From his seventh floor room, Cameron had a good view of most of the rain that came with Hurricane Harvey. “It was like cloudy with a chance of meatballs! I saw the water get higher and at night I wanted to stay up and watch it.” After Harvey came and left, Cameron maintained a positive perspective throughout the experience. “I consider myself a Harvey survivor, like I told you before I am a legend!”
It is Cameron’s big personality and continuous drive that can be associated with the spirit of many Texans that endured the hurricane. Currently, he is undergoing rehabilitation and credits the inpatient nurses, doctors, physical and occupational therapists and Shriners Hospital team for some of his progress. “Before I got here I was not able to move my arms. Now, I can stand up on my knees. My ultimate goal is to be able to walk again and then one day be able to drive.”
With a gigantic grin on his face, Cameron shares many of the dreams he has when he grows up. This includes many things, ranging from being a YouTube star to becoming the next Jeff Gordon. “I would love to be in NASCAR one day, but I also want to go to college. I really want to go to Texas A&M and study sports medicine”.
The good humor, positive personality and support that Cameron has are sure to take him far. There is no doubt that this self-titled legend has a big heart. He represents a great example of a mindset that should be had at all times.
Pictured: (top right) Cameron poses while being interviewed for patient story. ; (top left) The Vidor Pirates Football Helmet signed by teammates. (bottom left) Cameron meets the Houston, Astros Cheerleaders.