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Chris O’Brien’s Determination

Chris O’Brien grew up in Trumbull. He was an excellent high school and college swimmer, and an accomplished instructor at the Longshore Sailing School.

Last year, on Block Island, Chris noticed a friend far out in the surf. He thought he’d swim out to make sure he was okay. But as he dove into the surf Chris hit a shallow sand bar. He broke his c4 and c5 vertebrae. Instantly, 18-year-old Chris was paralyzed.

Fortunately, his spinal cord was not severed. Doctors believe that with advanced, intense rehabilitation in a special facility, Chris can walk again.

But the rehab must happen as soon as possible, while Chris’ body is strong enough to respond to it.

Chris O'Brien

The O’Briens’ insurance company will not provide coverage for the advanced care. The bill is staggering: over $20,000 a week, for months on end.

Chris is working extremely hard.

In their own way, so are his friends and family members.

This Saturday (June 9) in Wilton, 11 very talented young musicians will hold an outdoor benefit: “Music in the Grass.” There will be food, drinks, and dancing. 100% of all donations will go toward Chris’ rehabilitation.

The minimum donation is $150 per person. The hope is that everyone attending will give as much as possible.

Private sponsors have pledged to match the first $40,000 raised.

For more information — or to contribute, even if you can’t attend — email