Christian Beneke

Christian Beneke works as a manager at a car dealership and is a fiance and a father. Snowboarding is his passion, and Christian tries to hit the slopes whenever he has free time. Recently, he visited China Peak with his fiance for a day full of fun on the mountain.

Excitedly heading up the mountain together, Christian couldn’t wait to board down the slopes of China Peak. He’d been snowboarding those slopes for ages. Having arrived early, the couple decided to test the condition of the snow with a few test runs.

As usual, the first couple of runs were taken slow and steady. But Christian was so excited to be back on his board that he soon found himself going a bit too fast. Finding himself too far to the left, where the shade hid the ice and bumps, Christian attempted to correct his position. Unfortunately, he slipped and took a horrible tumble down the mountain. His fiance soon came upon him lying on the ground, his face and back bloody. Scariest of all, Christian couldn’t feel or move his legs.

Christian’s fiance immediately called for help, and he was taken to the infirmary while awaiting emergency transport. Christian first admitted to the trauma center at Fresno Community Hospital, and after a few days there, transferred to Kaiser Permanente. A week later, it became clear that Christian’s best opportunity to maximize his recovery would be to transfer to an inpatient rehabilitation hospital.

Christian chose to admit to San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital in Fresno. He spent four weeks at SJVRH and made significant progress recovering from his traumatic spinal cord injury during his stay.

“Everyone here has been absolutely amazing,” Christian said about his time at SJVRH. “I have nothing but gratitude. Everyone is so positive and giving: everyone, from the aides, nurses, the people downstairs. They will treat you well and with respect. Even the people who weren’t working directly with me were rooting for me!”

Following weeks of intense therapy, Christian could walk with the assistance of a walker. When asked where he found motivation for his rehabilitation, Christian said, “It’s all a mental thing. You are going to have feelings of defeat, but you have to keep a positive mind.”

Christian looks forward to spending time with his fiance and child. He plans to continue healing and can’t wait to return to work. He also hopes to one day get back on his board.