Carson High junior preparing to swim 30 miles in 24 hours to benefit spinal cord injuries

Cooper Sever's Uncle Chris is State Trooper injured in motorcycle crash one year ago
Updated: Jul. 16, 2020 at 3:17 PM EDT
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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A high school student in Rowan County is preparing now to make big splash to help victims of spinal cord injuries. Cooper Sever, a competitive swimmer at Jesse C. Carson High School in Rowan County, will be swimming 30 miles in a 24-hour period next week to raise money for a special center, and he’s doing it in honor of his uncle.

Cooper’s uncle is Chris Wooten. Wooten is a state Trooper who was injured in an accident almost exactly one year ago. Cooper says he is doing this in honor of his Uncle Chris, and to help victims of spinal cord injuries.

“I wanted to do something big and in honor of Chris and I thought that would be a good idea,” Sever said while sitting by the pool at Eaman Park on Thursday.

On the one-year-anniversary of the day Trooper Chris Wooten was injured and paralyzed in a crash involving his motorcycle, nephew Cooper will be putting in the miles, in the water.

“The plan is that I’ll be doing 1.25 miles at the beginning of every hour,” Sever added.

That’s a total of 30 miles in 24 hours. He’s been training for it for weeks.

“I just have to be mentally in a good zone and if I’m not mentally there then the training is just going to be off,” Sever said, “and I’ve just got to put myself in a space where I can just be free and just swim and not have to worry about anything else.”

He’s getting help from his dad Michael, the swimming coach at Catawba College, and getting inspiration from Uncle Chris.

“He’s my uncle and we’ve always had a really strong connection, I can remember growing up playing football with him, and something about his courage has kept me going all through the training and it’s keeping me in high hopes.”

The money raised, hopefully $30,000, will go to a patient’s assistance fund at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. It’s where Trooper Wooten spent more than six months in recovery. Cooper hopes his swim will help others who have suffered spinal cord injuries

“Once this happens, like a spinal cord injury, it changes their life around instantly, and my goal is just to give them a little bit of hope, that they can be able to go outside, have a wheelchair, something like that, just the simple things like just having a ramp will help people and give them hope.”

The swim will be happening next Tuesday and Wednesday right here at Eaman Park Pool where Cooper works as a lifeguard, friends and family will be here to cheer him on.

The fund provides financial assistance to patients with spinal cord injury for medical goods, prescriptions and other related services. More information and ways to donate can be found at:

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