BY Dollita Okine, 3:30pm July 02, 2024,

Teen ends up paralyzed after jumping into a pool to run from a wasp

Williams was transferred to Children's Health in Dallas, where his family found he had a spinal cord injury and needed surgery the same day he arrived. Photo Credit: NBCDFW

Semyon Williams Jr., popularly known as SJ, severely hurt himself after jumping into the shallow end of the neighborhood pool at Old Orchard Park in Frisco to escape a wasp.

His friend, who also dove into the water, saved the 13-year-old who is now paralyzed. At first, the friend thought SJ was floating face down for fun and jokes, but then he saw that the teenager wasn’t moving.

Anya Camper, Williams’ mother, told NBCDFW, “He turns him over, and that’s when he’s asking him, ‘Are you playing?’ and SJ’s like, he can speak, but he’s like, ‘I can’t feel anything.’ You know, he’s freaking out. He’s like, ”Help me! I can’t feel — I can’t feel my arms, my legs. Help me, call my mom.” 

The family described that a good Samaritan, a woman sitting by the pool, tried to console the teen while others contacted 911.

“Another kid was like, ‘Are you SJ’s mom? Can you come to the pool because SJ hurt himself bad, he can’t feel anything, he hit his head. Immediately, I was screaming,” Anya Camper recounted.

The boy’s grandfather, Louis Camper, said, “I suppose there was a panic, you know, a frantic measure to get out of harm’s way. SJ just jumped into the pool, but apparently, he dove in unbeknownst to perhaps the depth of the pool. He just recalls hitting his head and he even indicated that it felt as if his arms were not part of his body because of the fact that he couldn’t feel.”

Williams was transferred to Children’s Health in Dallas, where his family found he had a spinal cord injury and needed surgery the same day he arrived.

Although he is not Williams’ doctor, Bruno Braga, MD, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Children’s Health and an associate professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, told the outlet, “He fractured two vertebrae, the 4th and the 5th cervical vertebrae, and he fractured parts that are in front and behind the spinal cord, spinal canal which contains the spinal cord. The fact that he had no motor function or sensory function below the level of injury, that not a good indication that he’s going to recover much, but it’s too soon to tell and we just have to wait and see.”

Still, the Little Elm family are taking their time dealing with the situation, coping, and planning for what lies ahead, as it is too early to foresee Williams’ future.

Anya Camper, who has two other sons apart from SJ, expressed, “We are people of faith and we have an army of people praying for him. We’re believing that anything, a miracle, will happen.”

”The reality is, this is a long road. This is going to be a marathon for us and we have to support him and be with him every step of the way,” she added.

The teen’s family has created a GoFundMe page in anticipation of an enormous amount of medical expenses.

The devastated mother lamented, “As a mom, it’s just really heartbreaking; I’m literally helpless. As a mom you’re supposed to fix things, and I can’t fix it. So I’m just praying for help in any kind of way.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: July 2, 2024


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