CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Sydney Fowler is 14-years-old and a freshman at Wando High School.
A year and two months ago, Fowler was diagnosed with a staph infection in her spinal column which caused her to become paralyzed from the chest down.
The volleyball player and CrossFit athlete was unable to move anything for two months.
Now she is back in the gym at CrossFit Wando and has found a new passion for water skiing.
“Just all the complaints and negativity that the world can be filled with and she is the exact opposite of that. She will find every positive in every situation. She is such an example to other people about how you truly live and embrace life,” said Sylvia Darby, Owner, and Coach of CrossFit Wando.
Now as a freshman at Wando High School, Fowler has her eyes set on going to college on an adaptive athletic scholarship.
“Sydney is remarkable. She comes in here and never ever ever have I heard her complain. Nothing gets in her way,” said Paula Heinzmann, administrative assistant at Wando High School.
Savvy Giving by Design, a non-profit, donated a bedroom remodel to Sydney which is now wheelchair accessible.
“She’s remained so positive. She’s been much stronger than her mom. You ask me how I’m doing ah you’re going to see some tears, ask her how she’s doing ‘mom we’ve got this you know we’ve got this,” said Christi Fowler, Sydney’s mom.
The Fowler family is taking the generosity given to them and giving it back to the 500 people in Charleston living with Paralysis.
They have donated an exoskeleton to Roper Saint Francis Hospital where Sydney now receives therapy.
“When it feels like the right thing to do, we do it,” said Jeremy Fowler, Sydney’s dad.
The Fowler family has also joined forces with their gym, CrossFit Wando to host an event to raise money for adaptive athletes.
So, how does Sydney do it? How does she keep a smile on her face and stay genuinely happy during this trial in her life? She says it’s because of the support she has received.
“I feel like everyone is just so like upbeat and ‘you got this’ and they are pushing me to be the best that I can be. I know that God has a plan for me so I just got to stick to the plan and things will turn out good,” said Sydney Fowler.