Eye On KELOLAND: Students in training


HILLS, Minn. (KELO) — It’s been a year since we last caught up with Trenton Bass. The young athlete from Hills, Minnesota was seriously hurt during a high school football game that left him paralyzed.

Trenton has made a lot of progress since then, and he’s getting ready for another major accomplishment; plus he has a new friend.

“Sampson come here, hey come over here,” Trenton said.

Sampson is Trenton’s new service dog. He’s a 14 month old Bernese Mountain dog, who is still in training right now to help Trenton do some of the little things around the house.

“He’s just a helping hand, if I drop something he’ll pick it up and just a companion too,” Trenton said.

Sampson has also learned how to open the door for his new owner which allows Trenton a little more independence to go outside without asking for help.

That’s something Trenton has been working toward this summer.

“My biggest goal is to get stronger and more independent for campus life and everyday life, I guess,” Trenton said.

Trenton started college last year at SDSU. He’s majoring in mechanical engineering. We were there when he moved into his dorm room last year.

We were also there when Trenton first started his therapy two years ago in Denver soon after his football injury.

Trenton’s mom, who quit her job to help him in his recovery, says it’s been quite the journey for everyone.

“From the night it happened, it’s a parent’s worst nightmare, to now we just take each day at a time, I’ve seen Trenton improve a lot it’s a little bit harder being his caretaker when he’s home seeing all the improvements, but I definitely know he’s come a long way, he’s transferring in and out of his bed, he wasn’t able to do that even, during the school year last year,” Missy said.

Trenton did therapy twice a week this summer. He also uses special equipment around the house to keep up his strength.

If it looks hard, that’s because it is, but Trenton knows he has to keep moving forward, because for now, this is his new normal.

“Like that is to just keep up muscle mass so it’s not all lost and the standing frame is meant for bone density,” Trenton said.

“You know, technology keeps getting better and better with spinal chord injuries, we don’t know what to expect, but if something happens that’ll be great, but if it doesn’t I know he’ll be okay,” Missy said.

The next big thing for Trenton is going to be learning how to drive. In October, he’ll receive special training on how to drive this van that’ll be specially equipped, just for him.

“Eventually I’ll take the driving test and once I get that done and we’ll get the modifications to the vehicle and then practice on my own until I feel comfortable driving,

“I don’t know how often I’ll be driving or how far I’ll be driving but it’ll be nice to go somewhere without having to ask someone to bring me,”

But for now he appreciates the help. Last Friday his friends showed up at his house to help him load all of his belongings for his second year of college.

“His friends have been wonderful, he’s got high school friends who are younger than him when he’s home they’re rallied around him since day one, and to this day continue to come over and they are not scared to dig in and help with things that he needs help with,” Missy said.

As Trenton gets ready for the next chapter in his life, his dad reflects on how grateful he is, because he says it could always be worse.

“You know we’ve been fortunate in that way and I’ll even use the word blessed. In tragedy you can still be blessed.

“Definitely there are hard days and stuff, but that’s when you take a step back and pray and just rely on God that he’ll take care of you, my hope is in him, that’s where I get my peace from and that’s where I get my strength from,” Trenton said.

Sampson will get to room with Trenton at SDSU once he is officially a certified service dog.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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