DIAMOND POINT - Friday, former Warrensburg high school football star Mason Hamilton lifted himself out of his car with his muscular arms and settled into a wheelchair in front of his home.
He wheeled up a ramp that was built by his friends while he was spending about three weeks in Schenectady's Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital to regain his strength and mobility.
He rolled through his new, widened front door, installed by friends - contractors and tradesmen who donated their time and talents. They renovated his home for wheelchair access while Hamilton was either in Sunnyview, or undergoing operations at Albany Medical Center several weeks before to reconstruct his back. The operations followed a Feb. 6 snowmobile racing accident on Echo Lake that shattered his spine and tore up his spinal cord.
"It's nice that you're in your home now," Mason's Mother Shelly said, watching him smile as he inspected the renovations to his home. She and Mason's father live not far away off East Schroon River Rd.
"I have mixed feelings at this point," he replied. "There's a lot of security being in the hospital, but it's so nice to have the freedom to come home - it's been a while since I slept in my own bed and watched my own t.v."
Therapy dominated his days
For weeks, Mason's been dreaming of getting back to ordinary life, even if it's merely mowing the lawn or accomplishing spring cleanup chores in his back yard, he said.
Just days earlier, he had been in Sunnyview, undergoing the daily routine of physical therapy to learn how to walk with his paralyzed lower half.
In one of those sessions, Hamilton had walked about 30 feet, back and forth, with the help of a walker.
"This was a workout," Hamilton had said. "It feels good to be back amongst the standing."