Young dad paralyzed while diving in Lake Minnetonka finally returns home

- A young father and husband was left paralyzed last August after diving into shallow water on Lake Minnetonka. On Friday, he finally returned home to his family.

STORY: Dive from boat on Lake Minnetonka leaves young father with spinal injury

Ingram is trying to keep his head above water. The Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute pool is the one place where he can stand on his own two feet, with some help.

“It’s great, the buoyancy helps my arms and legs move easier than dry land,” Ingram said.

Ingram injured his spinal cord after diving from a pontoon boat during a bachelor party on the lake. A couple of doctors who were on nearby boats helped revive him and made sure his neck didn't move, which could've made his injury even worse.

"It’s an unfortunate situation,” Ingram said. “You can go back and say ‘why? What if? How could I?’ That goes through my mind on a daily basis. But this is the situation I've been dealt. I gotta move on."

After weeks in intensive care and months in rehab centers, Ingram is finally home with his wife Melissa and daughter Alex, who was born just two weeks before the accident. They outfitted their house with a chairlift to get him to the second floor.

Ingram has physical and occupational therapy several days a week, sometimes with the whole family. But his motivation for all that hard work is close to his heart.

"I would like to be able to hold my daughter someday and we all know, they don't stay young forever so I'm going to need to get stronger with both arms to hold her,” he said.

Right now, Ingram gets around using an electric wheelchair which he operates with a joystick and his left arm in a sling. He's come so far over the last few months, but he knows his journey is just beginning.

"I'm fortunate to be alive, and thankful for the opportunity to get better,” Ingram said.

Ingram hopes to return to work as an IT project manager at Target headquarters sometime this summer.

Kirk Ingram's family has set up a trust to help pay for home improvements and a special vehicle he'll need to get around. Click here for more information.


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