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Man continues to enjoy life after crippling car accident

Sean Lynn sits on his porch Monday at his San Clemente home. Lynn was paralyzed in a car accident in 2014 and uses an elevator to get to the top floor of his home. Photo: Eric Heinz
Sean Lynn sits on his porch Monday at his San Clemente home. Lynn was paralyzed in a car accident in 2014 and uses an elevator to get to the top floor of his home. Photo: Eric Heinz

By Eric Heinz

Since his accident more than 18 months ago, Sean Lynn of San Clemente has looked at the bright side of life after being confined to a wheelchair.

A father of two identical twin boys, Lynn was paralyzed in both legs and lost motor skills to his hands following a car wreck in which he and the driver were launched off a 10-foot ridge in the San Diego desert in January 2014. The driver sustained minor injuries.

Lynn sustained an injury to his C-5 disk, which bruised his spinal cord and disabled him. He was flown to Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport Beach.

“I was there for about a month, and then I flew across the country and rehabilitated in New Jersey,” Lynn said. “I came home for the birth of the children.”

Lynn can move his arms but not his legs and he can’t close his hands properly.

His home is equipped with an elevator, which runs on the side of his garage.

Because his spinal cord was not severed, Lynn still has feeling in most of his limbs. There is a chance he could recover and become more ambulatory.

“I don’t know if I get more mobility, but I get stronger with what I have,” he said.

Jason Wanstreet, Strides SCI Functional Fitness co-owner and president in San Juan Capistrano, said this type of injury takes time to heal, but the odds are better for recovery. Wanstreet has been working with Lynn for three months.

“Every single person that I work with heals differently,” Wanstreet said. “If you could put it in perspective, he has a better chance because he has so much sensory ability but not so much motor.”

Despite the severity of his injury and how it has immobilized him, Lynn said he remains true to himself and tries to not let it deter him from his ambitions. Right now, raising his two sons is priority No. 1.

“I focus a lot of my energy on the kids, kind of to take my mind off my own situation,” Lynn said. “It’s a way to kind of pick up the pieces and move forward.”

Hanging out at the beach, barbecues and socializing are still a major part of Lynn’s life. Before his accident he was working for a commercial project construction company.

“You kind of have to do a mental 180,” he said. “Right now, we haven’t really addressed (working) because I’m not able to drive or visit work sites.”

Lynn said the outpouring of community assistance has been remarkable. In May, a golf tournament was hosted to help with his medical expenses, and he said the event was sold

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