St. X Grad Is Back To Skiing And Biking After Paralysis

Mar 11, 2016

Jim Harris, adventure photographer and writer, still has a "pretty good limp" but according to doctors and rehabilitation specialists has made an incredible recovery since fracturing his vertebrae while in Chile to traverse an ice cap.

Our news partner, WCPO, followed his journey from Chile to rehab in Cincinnati early on.

Harris was testing a traction kite when a wind gust slammed him to the ground causing a freak accident. He was flown to Cincinnati where he spent time recovering at the Daniel Drake Center.

Harris, who now lives in Colorado, skied for the first time on the year anniversary of his accident while on a trip to Utah. He says his first attempt was pretty bad but gradually the muscle memory is coming back.

His disability forced him to put his adventure photography business on hold, but recently began taking some pictures again.  "I was camping last weekend with friends out in the desert and was walking around taking photos as we passed through canyon country and watching thunder and lightning and rainbows. That was really the first time I've walked around with a camera since getting hurt."

Harris looks forward to getting more  mobility back. He says there is a big part of his recovery that he really can't take credit for. "I do imagine my mental outlook has played a significant role but there is some probably even bigger piece just like dumb luck or grace of God."

Harris is an honoree at the Mayfield Foundation's "The Art & Science of Healing II" Saturday night at the 21c Museum Hotel from 6-9.