Shawn Florence surrounded by friends after a ski accident left him paralyzed. (Photo courtesy of gofundme.com/gofundshawn)

Windsor Man Paralyzed During Ski Trip Faces $150K In Medical Bills

A 24-year-old Windsor man faces steep medical bills after a skiing trip to Michigan’s Pine Knob Ski Resort went horribly wrong.

Shawn Florence had to undergo emergency surgery after he crashed into a fence on November 26. He broke 13 ribs, suffered collapsed lungs, and completely severed his spinal cord. The accident will leave him a paraplegic for the rest of his life.

The family is unsure what the the Ontario Health Insurance Plan will cover. Florence underwent life saving surgery and stayed a week at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital. The total cost of the stay is still unclear.

“Not just the surgery and the medical bills, but for my rehabilitation and devices I’m going to need because I will, by the sounds of it, be in a wheelchair the rest of my life,” says Florence from his hospital bed at Windsor Regional Hospital’s Ouellette Campus.

Florence transferred back home to Windsor a few days ago and hopes to be admitted soon to the rehabilitation program at Parkwood Institute in London.

His girlfriend, Tiffany Laporte, has set up a GoFundMe campaign has been set up in his name to raise funds. In just 17 hours, it raised over $12,000.  The goal of the fundraiser is $150,000 but they are not sure if that will cover all of the expenses incurred while in hospital in Michigan.

“It’s kind of a freak accident, but it could happen to anybody, and it really changes your life,” admits Florence. “For the rest of my life, it’s going to change how I do things.”