Last August 15th was pretty spooky for me. The night before my best friends' wedding, two friends and I decided to take a late-night swim at Lake Ottertail in beautiful Minnesota. I saw a boat dock and decided to take a dive into the water. As a competitive swimmer, I'd done thousands of shallow dives, unfortunately, this lake was very shallow. To make a long story short, I broke the fourth cervical (C4) vertebrate in my neck and ended up rushed to the hospital where I received emergency neurosurgery.

Casey Freeman neck injury to spine
You never ever want to wake up like this.

Since my C4 was crushed to dust, I had two titanium plates and eight titanium screws drilled into my spinal column.

Spinal pins in the neck

So I named this robotic addition to my anatomy "Mekaneck." The original Mekaneck was a totally lame He-Man toy with the superpower of elongating his neck to look around corners or above walls. He looks like this:

My alter ego

Luckily (and believe me I'm a true believer of luck these days) I recovered ridiculously fast. After just a week in the hospital (my original prognosis was three weeks to forever) I returned to my friends, family and fans. 

Mekaneck and I enjoyed a very interesting year. I learned that winter is a lot more interesting when the metal in your neck freezes against your spinal cord. Mekaneck learned that neck massages are scary but also very nice. I hope to celebrate many more years with this metallic bastard as well as you.

I'll never have full mobility in my neck, but what the hell do you need that for? Even though folding sheets in nearly impossible (I can't put my chin to my chest) I can walk, breathe and laugh—and really, what else do you need?

Once again, I just wanted to thank everybody. I truly feel blessed, loved and all that great stuff, but I want YOU to as well. If I was all alone, I don't know how I would have managed to heal so quickly. 

Thanks a million. You're the best!