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Danny Cox, paralyzed in a swimming accident, is moved to rehab center

Danny Cox, the 18-year-old Petaluma resident who was paralyzed in a diving accident at South Lake Tahoe two weeks ago, is continuing his rehabilitation at a Bay Area spinal rehabilitation center.

Cox, who graduated from Petaluma High School in June, broke his neck on Aug. 10 when he did a flat dive into shallow water at the lake and a wave from a passing boat apparently pushed his head into the sand.

He was taken first to a hospital in Reno, Nev., but was transferred last Friday by ambulance and plane to Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Facility in Vallejo.

Cox is paralyzed from the chest down, but has some movement and feeling in his arms.

A Web site, www.dannycox707.com, has been set up by his family and friends to provide updates on his condition, including video reports, and provides a way for people to donate to his medical costs.

"He's doing OK now, but it's been harder to keep his spirits up, said Maureen McGowan, his mother. "After he got out of ICU and acute care, he's been making progress, but it's not as much progress as he had been making, and this is frustrating him.

"A psychologist visited him, and said that this is a normal part of the grief process."

McGowan continues to be thankful for the "fantastic" support that the Petaluma community is giving her family.

Matt Menar, a resident of Petaluma who works as a firefighter/paramedic for the Menlo Park Fire Protection District who helped Cox plan a career as a firefighter, is hosting the Danny Cox Benefit Golf Tournament at Rooster Run Golf Course in Petaluma at 1 p.m. on Oct. 22.

Arnie Cohen, founder and president of the Carousel Fund, said his organization is going to help raise money for Cox's expenses at its annual fund-raiser on Oct. 2. The Carousel Fund is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to assisting Petaluma families with children suffering from catastrophic illnesses.

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