Patric Young
Written By
April 25, 2024

Patric Young

Patric Young’s life changed on June 29, 2022, when a single-vehicle accident left him paralyzed from the waist down. 

Before, Young was a Providence School and University of Florida forward, a two-time All-SEC basketball selection and a former All-First Coast player of the year from Jacksonville. 

According to the Florida Times-Union, Young played for the Gators for four NCAA tournament seasons from 2010 to 2014, scoring 1,407 points to rank 28th all-time at the school. 

Once a force on the basketball court, Young now finds himself confronting a whole new challenge with his spinal cord injury recovery. Defeatism can be debilitating, he said, and it can cost up to $1.3 million in the first year or two of care for a spinal cord injury. 

According to data from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, there are about 18,000 new spinal cord injury cases a year in the U.S., mostly caused by car crashes (37.6%) or falls (31.5%). Incomplete tetraplegia, or paralysis where some feeling or control remains, is the most common damage level at 47.1%. 

“I had no idea about spinal cord injuries outside maybe football players,” Young said. “But getting exposed to it, I saw how many people are hurting. They need encouragement, money to drive again, work again, to get some things changed in the house so they can fit through doorways. Typically when people start foundations, it’s through an experience they’ve had. I felt an epiphany to help other people who go through this.” 

Young was fortunate: insurance covered much of his necessary care, and his mother, an intensive care nurse, and sister, who works in physical therapy, were able to help. Young launched the Patric Young Foundation last November, with the goal to help those with life-altering injuries reclaim their lives. 

Young hopes he can give grants through the foundation to help adults with equipment, mortgage payments, training and other resources. Even small things turn into big costs, he said. A driving evaluation costs $500, and car modifications like hand controls can cost between $3,000 and $5,000.

“We’re still trying to figure out the number of people we can target, but we want to do a little bit of everything,” Young said. “It can be anything from physical therapy to helping someone widen their doors or add grab bars in the bathroom. Something so small can make a huge difference in someone’s quality of life.” 

This work is why Young’s foundation was chosen as an 2023 Atlantic Cares recipient.

"Patric is a great Gator and a great person that's battling through his present situation with a servant's grateful heart," said COO Johnnie Greene. "He's an amazing young man and an inspiration to us all."

A golf tournament raised $80,000 last year for the foundation, and this year’s golf tournament raised $87,000, Young said. However, much of the foundation’s plans were put on hold in 2023 due to a severe infection that put Young in the hospital from May to October. 

Not one to be deterred, Young published a book the following month, titled “Sit to Rise: turning your darkest pain into your brightest victory.” 

In 2024, Young aims to partner with other Jacksonville-area foundations like the Brooks Rehabilitation Center, which offers a six-week intensive physical therapy program with “amazing” results, Young said. Other 2024 targets include the Patient Advocate Foundation, which helps spinal cord injury patients pay for basic needs, and the JT Townsend Foundation, which pays for medical equipment. 

More than anything, Young wants other people suffering from spinal cord injuries to know they’re not alone. He tries to live so that he can look back and say he was part of something bigger than himself. He hopes he will walk again. 

“I read this article once about a man who, after 30 years, was able to walk again,” Young said. “I wish I could find this guy to ask him how he lived his life. You have to pursue happiness now, because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. That’s what I’ve tried to do. If I don’t walk again, I’m going to live as if it doesn’t matter.” 

Click here for more information on the Patric Young Foundation and to make donations. Checks can also be mailed to the Patric Young Foundation at 101 Marketside Ave., Suite 404 #362, Ponte Vedra, FL, 32081.


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