Carson Pforsich
June 1, 2018

Carson Pforsich

Carson Pforsich is an 18-year-old Analy High School student-athlete who suffered a traumatic spine injury in September of 2017 that left him paralyzed. The captain of the Analy football team and a fourth-generation Sebastopol resident has received immense support from his community throughout his recovery period. 

Friends came in droves during his initial hospitalization at Memorial, his parents told the Press Democrat in February. Hospital visitors are normally kept at a maximum of two, but his father said, “We constantly went beyond that.” 

Carson made a big impression on the staff at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center where he underwent therapy during his recovery. Carson's occupational therapist noted, "Carson faced his injury and the realities of it with more bravery than I have seen in most grown men who come through our unit. He was eager to learn new ways to do things every day and was even able to laugh and make us laugh, too." From Carson's physical therapist Danielle O’Neill Nekimken:  "Carson brightened the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Rehabilitation unit during his intensive rehab stay. He often zoomed through the gym... with a big smile and genuine caring for all those around him. He brought his athleticism and strong work ethic to every challenge he encountered. He pushed to the limits...  Carson is charismatic, confident, caring, and a true athlete.  He was an absolute joy to work with in therapies.  The staff at SCVMC know that Carson has a bright future ahead of him."

Although the initial recovery therapy was difficult, Carson said to KTVU soon after his accident, "I was thinking about my team and they were pulling me through it, and I just want to keep fighting, get back to how I was supposed to be. I' heard stories about people who had the same injury I have, and they made full recoveries and that just keeps my hopes up." 

During the rest of the 2017 high school football season, his teammates wore his number, 13, on their helmets to keep his determination with them during the game, and his sister symbolically wore his jersey during the coin toss for an important game. 

Exceeding all expectations, Carson was able to return to school in January 2018 and is on track to graduate with his senior class at the end of May.

Carson received several nominations for the Locals Who Make a Difference Program. One nomination said, “Carson’s decision to go back to school and finish his senior year and graduate with his class shows that he is making a difference every day. He is an inspiration to not only his classmates, but to us all.” Another stated, “During a team gathering, Carson chose to focus on the team, and what they needed to do to not only win, but to play, and to cherish their time, and their brotherhood on the field. His story offers hope for the future of all of our youth.”

The City of Sebastopol is proud to recognize a courageous and determined young man like Carson as its first "Locals Who Make a Difference” honoree.