SOUTH JORDAN — Neither rain nor sleet nor snow can stop a mailman from doing his job. For Todd Edgington, that job has been the past 15 years of his life, but in January something eventually stopped him from delivering mail.
“I felt my head hit the bottom of the ocean and then just crack in two,” Todd Edgington said.
A trip with family to a beach in Hawaii ended with Todd in the hospital. He broke two vertebrae in his neck and was paralyzed from the chest down.
Todd’s wife, Vicki, said she will never forget what the doctors said.
“They told me when we got there that he had severed one of the arteries in his neck,” Vicki Edgington said. “They didn’t think he would make it through the night.”
He did make it, but is now a quadriplegic. He still has movement from the shoulders up, but the injury forced the family to make drastic changes in their home.
His wife had to quit her job and become his full-time caregiver.
“It’s just me, so I am lucky enough that I have kids that are close by that can help me,” Vicki said.
She said their daily routine is a lot longer than it used to be. To get around, Todd now uses a custom wheelchair.
“Since he doesn’t have any use of his arms or hands or anything like that, they designed [this wheelchair] that he can actually control using his tongue,” Vicki said.
They adjusted the first floor of their South Jordan home to cater to Todd’s new needs.
“We had to take out all the carpet so that the wheelchair would be able to get around,” Vicki said. “We had to widen the door frames so that the wheelchair could get through.”
The family also had to add a ramp in their garage leading up to their new van, along with building out a custom bathroom. Many of the materials and labor were donated by friends and total strangers.
“You just never realized how many good-hearted people are out there to help unfortunate people like me that were just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Todd said.
The family said they are getting by, celebrating every little improvement to keep Todd’s spirits up.
“I can’t imagine how challenging it is for him and what it feels like inside his body, but we are so, so grateful he’s still here,” Vicki said.
Todd said he misses driving his routes, delivering mail and walking 10 miles a day. But he’s determined to focus on the positive.
“Being a mailman, we only get every sixth Saturday off, and so I can go to all the grandkids’ soccer games,” Todd said. “That’s a plus I didn’t have before.”
Hospital bills continue to mount for the family, which takes Todd to physical therapy three times a week. They have set up a GoFundMe account* to help with costs.