Banners waved, trumpets sounded and cheers filled the air at McCarran International Airport on Thursday as students from Faith Lutheran Middle and High School welcomed their classmate, Mark Wilbourne, 18, back to Las Vegas after his four months in rehab in Denver.
“It’s really great to be home,” the 18-year-old senior said. “A lot of support came from here to Denver, so it’s really good to just pay it back and see everyone. It’s really awesome.”
In late January, Wilbourne was in a bicycle crash that dislocated his neck between the C6 and C7 vertebrae and broke his C7 vertebra, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down, with limited use of his left and right arms and very limited use of his left hand. He had been been at Craig Hospital near Denver since February, undergoing aggressive four-times-a-day rehabilitation.
He now has feeling in his arms and is able to push his wheelchair.
“We’re just so grateful,” said Tricia Wilbourne, Mark’s mother. “We can finally get to see the faces and hug the people that got us back home and got us to Craig. My overwhelming feeling today is I’m just so happy to come back and show everyone our thanks and gratitude and just hug those souls that got us to this point.”