Quadriplegic walks again, thanks doctor for saving his life

Quadriplegic walks again, thanks doctor for saving his life

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A local man who was told he would never walk again after a horrific car crash, is not only walking again - he's teaching Tai Chi. He just met his doctor to thank him for the first time.

It was 25 years ago when Joe Pinella was towing a trailer just outside of Flagstaff when the trailer hitch broke, smashed into his truck, and pushed
him off a cliff. Joe fell 200 feet down a ravine and landed on his head.

The accident left him paralyzed from the neck down. Joe used ancient Chinese healing arts and Tai Chi, and over the years he was able to regain full mobility.

Yesterday he met Dr. Donald Hales who helped treat him at Flagstaff Medical Center. The last time the doctor saw Joe, he was a quadriplegic. 

"At one point I even asked Dr. Hales, please don't do anything else to help me. Just let me die," says Pinella.  "Yesterday I walked across that causeway,
25 years ago they wheeled me across there and I wished to die; here I was yesterday with my whole life still in front of me," Pinella said.

Joe gave Dr. Hales a gift to thank him for his life-saving work.

Copyright 2016 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.