Pleasant Grove Soccer Player Paralyzed After Hitting Head on Bottom of Pool

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ELK GROVE -- It's been a month since a simple dive into a friends swimming pool changed the life of 18-year-old Tony Nguyen forever.

A gifted soccer player and recent Pleasant Grove High School graduate, Nguyen instantly became a quadriplegic after hitting his head on the bottom of the pool.

"He has dreams of God holding his hand and guiding him to walk, and then slowly letting go," Nguyen's older sister Lynda Yap told FOX40.

Nguyen came to California from Japan when he was 11 years old. He turned to sports, soccer in particular, as a way to be accepted, and he was planning on attending Cosumnes River College in the fall.

But the swimming pool accident has left him paralyzed from the chest down. He is constantly going through physical therapy at a facility in Santa Clara, and the hope is to have him home by mid-August.

"We really thought he was going to be depressed about everything, but he's been in really good spirits," Yap said.

However, when he does come home, Nguyen will still be facing at least another year of rehabilitation, which is something his family isn't quite prepared for yet.

"Once he comes back home he's going to be doing a lot of outpatient care, and most of those things are private paid," Yap explained.

On top of renovations to the family home, Nguyen will be coming back in a wheel chair and will need access to both his house and a vehicle.

"He really wants to go back to school," said family friend Kristen Hernandez. "That's what he's really looking forward to. He keeps saying he wants a laptop for college still."

Kristen and her husband Juan have started a GoFundMe campaign to help the family with the many expenses. Information on how to donate can be found at

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