19-year-old hit by car now paralyzed; family raises money for treatment

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A 19-year-old hit by a car on Central, left paralyzed. He can’t get long-term treatment in New Mexico, so his family is working to get him the help he needs elsewhere.

Despite this tragic accident, his mother says she is not giving up hope to get him the best care she can find.

It was May 4, 2019, at the intersection of Central and University. Nineteen-year-old Cody Gentry was crossing the street when he was hit by an SUV. “It was just a freak accident…they didn’t see him,” said Jessica Gentry.

Cody’s mom Jessica said her son’s neck was broken. He spent five weeks in ICU at UNM Hospital to learn he was paralyzed from the chest down. “His life has technically been changed forever,” said Gentry.

She said her son graduated from Cibola High School last year, and up until the accident he was always active. “He’s always been my extreme sport kid…I mean, I bought him his first dirt bike at 5 years old…he played football, ran track, he was a sponsored snowboarder,” she said.

But now, Cody needs long term care and physical therapy—something he can’t get for a spinal injury in New Mexico. “Aside from the trauma of dealing with what happened to my baby, not having the resources here was really hard to hear,” said Gentry.

The family’s insurance keeps getting denied, so she’s raising money on her own to get her son into a treatment center in another state. Gentry is a co-owner of Black Box Fitness, and this weekend they’ll be holding a fundraiser for Cody from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

So far, his GoFundMe has raised more than $15,000, but there’s still a long road ahead. “The thought of my kid just sitting in a room for the rest of his life…I don’t have the option but to keep moving,” she said.

Gentry said she’s gone through the process of appealing Presbyterian insurance, but she’s now working with Sen. Udall’s office and the governor on other options for her son.

California Pizza Kitchen in Uptown will also be donating 20 percent of its proceeds if you mention Cody’s name through this weekend, starting on Friday, July 12.

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