(Cesar is a musician, Twitch gamer/kayceebeasts and quadriplegic from California)
I woke up to the sound of my brother’s voice and machines around me constantly beeping. It was early in January 2016 a few months before Kendrick Lamar released his fourth studio album “Untitled Unmastered.” The night of my accident four friends and I drove an hour and a half to go bar hopping in the city hub since we all lived in Palmdale, a small desert city about an hour outside of Los Angeles.
The police report stated we were doing 105 when we crashed however I have little recollection of most of the car ride home since I was asleep in the rear right passenger seat. My seatbelt was never buckled after being thrown in the back seat and I had broken my neck at the C5 vertebrae rendering me instantly quadriplegic.
“Let’s go home” is all I kept repeating to my brother and even though I didn’t know it at the time I would not be going home for a very long time. Right after my first surgery I had caught pneumonia and my lungs collapsed forcing me to go on life support. There is nothing more odd than feeling cold air blow directly into your neck through a breathing machine.
Doctors told my family I had less than a 1% chance to feed myself again let alone walk, talk, breathe, or live a “normal” life. I did not really understand the severity of my injury. All I could focus on was getting off of the breathing machine and praying that I could still use my voice as music, writing, producing, and working on my craft as a creator was everything to me.
How could I express myself musically if my lungs barely worked? Things got worse before they got better however after a few weeks in intensive care I was able to wean myself off of the breathing machine. “Physical and occupational therapy is something of the past as I like to believe once you leave the hospital setting “therapy” becomes physical life training. God, major family support, and luck must all be the reason my recovery has gone the way it has.
I am not walking yet however I am a very independent quadriplegic and can even transfer with little to no help. After three years I was finally able to record music again and released my first album since my accident; something I thought was virtually impossible. I also just graduated from California State University of Northridge with a degree in Applied Psychology and am currently applying for a few masters programs.
When classes were open before COVID I was attending classes on campus full-time by myself. Most people see that as basic however it was the first time I was by myself with no one to care for me since my injury and much to my surprise I was fine. If you are reading this I know you may feel scared. I hope my story gives you hope so you can continue searching for life’s blessings.
All the blood, sweat, and tears only make you stronger. Suffering a spinal cord injury is truly life changing however it is far from an end to living a fulfilling life. Continue to fight like hell. If not for yourself, for those who love and believe in you. If you have not heard this in a while I love you. I pray you find peace and never give up.
The late great Nipsey Hussle once said “Find your purpose or you’re wasting air” and I truly believe everyone’s purpose is found in the journey not at the end of the road. Keep striving.
– Follow Cesar on IG here
– Follow him on Twitch here
– Follow him on Spotify here