Living with Adam
Adam Goza, 33, was drunk when he jumped off a dock and fell thirty feet into shallow water, breaking his neck. Told he would be a quadriplegic for the rest of his life, Adam relies on his mother Chery Giddens, 59. After five years of recovery Adam and his mother refuse to accept that his condition is permanent and continue his recovery in hopes of a day when Adam can return to a life of independence.
Adams days are spent planning hunting trips and exotic travels for a future where he’s regained the use of his legs. Chery’s are spent next to her son, bathing and feeding him. Together they wait for the day when their prayers will come true.
Chery adjusts Adam’s blue jeans while getting him ready for a doctors appointment in Osage Beach to look at a pressure sore that needed surgery in December. Blue jeans are a struggle to get Adam
into, but Chery said makes the effort for special occasions “You should have seen it. He wore them to the doctors and all the nurses kept saying how nice he looked.”
Adam waits for Chery and his medical aid to finish dressing him during their morning routine. It takes two people to get Adam ready every day, including changing his waste bags and moving him from the bed to a motorized wheel chair.
Adam’s hand hangs limp while experiencing a muscle spasm brought on in the early hours of Tuesday morning. After breaking his neck, Adam spent 27 days in intensive care, flat lining once and having three metal plates and 13 screws put into his spine. After being declared a quadriplegic, the doctors told Adam he would never use his feet or hands again. “His surgeon said to me, ‘What he has right now is all he’ll ever get.’”
Chery watches as doctors cut into a pressure wound on Adam’s back that has been slow to heal. Chery drives her son to one of eight doctors Adam sees once or twice a week. “You might see a grown man cry today,” Adam jokes while preparing for the painful procedure.
Adam’s cousin lifts him into bed after his sister forgot to stop by and help Chery move him. Chery is unable to make the transfer herself and usually relies on Adam’s aid or other family members.
Adam scrolls through a shopping website while looking for a new gun safe that Chery promised to buy him in exchange for trading bedrooms. Last year paramedics had trouble getting Adam out of his room on a stretcher during one of the many times they’ve been to the house.
Adam drives down his street after deciding to get home on his own while running errands with Chery.
Adam looks down the sights of a revolver he’s thinking about buying at Action Arms in Eldon, Mo. Adam’s friends built him a special trigger mechanism so he could continue to shoot which is Adam’s favorite way to spend weekends.
Chery feeds Adam a cookie while they watch television in his room. Adam continues to struggle with dexterity in his hands, which can make gripping small objects like forks and pens difficult.
Chery takes a moment for herself before waking up Adam and beginning his morning routine. “It takes at least six years for swelling in the spine to go away after an injury like his,” Chery said. “We’re just barely past five, and look where he’s at.”