He was once a well-known figure in the NBA and he can still boast of having been one of the tallest players in the history of the prestigious American league. Shawn Bradley spent 12 seasons in the basketball elite and rose to fame for acting alongside Michael Jordan in the film Space Jam, but his life changed radically after an accident that left him quadriplegic. Today he spends his days in a motorized wheelchair and trying to avoid “suicidal thoughts”.
Bradley, was born in the city of Landstuhl (Germany), but his father was American and he grew up on a farm outside the small town of Castle Dale, Utah. His great height made him a college basketball star and he was voted second in the Draft from NBA from 1993. Although it never reached the potential that its size heralded, since half 2.29 meters, established himself as an imposing and reliable defender.
His last performance was May 20, 2005. That day, Shawn Bradley took his last steps on the pitch Dallas Mavericks, where he landed after playing in the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Nets. retired with 33 years and dedicated himself to enjoying his life until last year it was hit by a car when he was riding a bike and his body was paralyzed from the neck down.
The January 20, 2021, to the 48 years, the life of Bradley took a radical turn. A minivan hit him from behind on his way home in St. George (Utah) and caused irreversible damage. His family decided not to go public with the accident until March of last year, and when they did they did not reveal many details of the incident, but now the former star of the NBA gave an exclusive interview to Sport Illustrated to talk about his hell.
“Maybe it would be better if this all ended. Those thoughts are real. I can never imagine acting on those thoughts, but I definitely do. It’s hard for me to let them see me like this. It is the challenge of remembering what once was… and knowing that It will never be the same“, He said Shawn Bradley a AND almost in tears.
His sports career had been quite outstanding. left the NBA with an average of 8.1 points; 6.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per match. He also became a recognized figure from his performance alongside Michael Jordan in Space Jam, where next to Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Larry Johnson y Muggsy Bogues embodied those players who Monstars their skills were stolen. His height was a huge draw for the character.
Today his height represents a great stumbling block. This one person accident 2.29 meters was a challenge without precedent in modern medical history, specialists had difficulty accommodating him in the ambulance before managing to close the doors and also faced an untraditional surgery. He spent three weeks in intensive care, on a breathing tube and slowly regaining the ability to move his arms and fingers..
In fact, a tiny movement of the shoulders served to calm his panic the day he was rammed. Shawn Bradley He remembers he was going through a roundabout when he saw a Saturn sedan parked on a two-lane street ahead, and when he wanted to avoid it, the driver’s door opened. Right behind him came a dodge minivan with a mother in a hurry for coming to pick up his son from school: he hit him from behind and propelled him into the parked car. Bradley crashed into the trunk of the Saturn and landed headfirst on the tarmac.. His helmet saved him from death. “Am I going to suffocate? Am I going to die slowly?He says those were his first thoughts.
At Hospital Regional de St. George they had to break with everything established in order to recover. For example, a patient like Shawn Bradley did not fit in the hospital shower and had to be transferred to a separate room to be bathed. All the staff had to learn to transfer it between beds, chairs and tables, in addition to the fact that when he was discharged they had to acquire from a custom electric wheelchair But in the meantime, they taped a pad and board to their largest chair to create a makeshift backrest.
As reported Sport Illustrated, a treatment of a patient as Bradley costs between USD 300.000 Y USD 1.000.000 in the first year, and approx. $5 million lifelong. He is fortunate to have the resources to cover these expenses, since he earned almost $70 million in his carrer. What’s more, his NBA health insurance policy covered four months of hospital treatment.
His next target is clear: specialists from the Baylor Scott & White Health, just north of Dallas, point to Bradley can transfer from his chair to the bed and vice versa, without assistance, an essential movement to regain independence. “It is something that we all think is possible. We are not there yet, but we are getting there.”, commented the former figure of the NBA, who is determined to help others by raising awareness of bicycle accidents.
He has many difficulties but has the unconditional support of his wife Carrie, whom he married in 2017. Shawn He is quite distant from his first wife and six children, but he has adopted the three children of his current partner, who takes care of every detail to make his life as simple as possible, even calling the cinema to reserve a place for him special. “All those little things mean a lot to me,” He said Bradley.
In Mexico, the National System of Support, Psychological Counseling and Crisis Intervention by Telephone (SAPTEL) offers telephone attention 24 hours a day at the number: 0155 5259-8121. In the United States you can dial +1-888-628-9454.
At the Buenos Aires Suicide Assistance Center, they serve anyone in crisis on the toll-free lines 135 from Buenos Aires and GBA or at (54-11) 5275-1135 24 hours a day. There is also the Center for Attention to Family Suicide (CAFS): Tel. (011) 4758-2554 ([email protected] – www.familiardesuicida.com.ar).
In the United States, there is National Suicide Prevention Network to ask for help; you can call 1-888-628-9454 or 1-800-273-8255, the National Suicide Prevention Service hotline, to speak with someone who will give you free and confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week of the week. The CDC also recommend their own policiesprevention programs and practices.