On a Saturday in July seven years ago, Kyle Galloway jumped a hill on his four-wheeler — a decision that would change his life forever.
Police said he lost control of his ATV, was ejected over the handlebars and struck the ground with his head. He was wearing a helmet, but his spine was injured.
He was airlifted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and put in the neuro-critical care unit there.
The then-18-year-old found out he was paralyzed. He had no movement in his legs and very little in his arms.
The injury left him confined to a power wheelchair. He didn’t even have enough use of his triceps to operate a manual one.
He had to learn how to live his life in a new way — sitting down. During his recovery, he wondered whether he would ever be active again.
The answer came six years later.
On a recent afternoon, Galloway sat in the Indiana University Kokomo student center wearing an orange soccer jersey and watching YouTube videos on his smartphone.
They were highlights from a power soccer tournament.
Players wheeled around a court and kicked a 13-inch soccer ball using guards on the front of their wheelchairs.
He looked up from the video to point out that a power soccer player was once clocked kicking the ball 41 mph.
“We kick the ball so hard,” he said.
This is how Galloway spends his free time now. He researches power soccer, practices it and plays it.
The IU Kokomo student was a two-sport athlete in high school, so it feels good to be able to play a competitive sport again, he said.
And he doesn’t just play. He excels.
His team, RHI Sudden Impact, just won the national power soccer championships.
The Central Indiana team defeated DASA Dynamites, from Missouri, 1-0 in July to win.