Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Teen with power pole injuries in good spirits after return home

TAMPA — Avi Davidson is paralyzed from the waist down. His left arm was amputated, and he needs help with formerly simple tasks, from showering to opening the wrappers of the Toblerone candies he loves.

But Avi still hopes to join the Israeli military.

"I obviously won't have a field position," he said at his family's Northdale home. "But I can work a desk position."

Much has changed since Avi suffered a catastrophic electrical shock climbing a power pole to take photos of a sunset on Oct. 1. At first, his family didn't know if he'd survive. But after 89 days in the hospital, he returned home Monday. The family cats immediately ran toward him and checked out his wheelchair.

On Thursday, he said that despite his disabilities, many of his goals are the same.

He hopes to return to Gaither High School, he still wants to become an Eagle Scout and he thinks he'll go on a trip to Israel with his mom, a trip they had been planning.

His sister Michelle Bern, 19, said she'll encourage him.

"He's so independent, so strong-willed," she said. "I have 100 percent faith he will achieve those goals."

At 16, an age when many teens start looking forward to moving out of their parents' house, Avi said he's happy to stay home for the foreseeable future.

"The fact that they support me so much means a lot," he said.

His family is building a 550-square-foot room for him at the front of the house. It'll have a wheelchair-accessible shower, furniture at his level and couches for visiting friends.

The additional room, his new, waterproof wheelchair and other items were made possible through donations from friends and the community, said Avi's mom, Lea Merrill Davidson-Bern.

"It's been unbelievable," she said.

Though still in pain, Avi has his usual sense of humor, his family said. At the end of a press conference, he told his sister Rachel, 18, that he wanted to play Cat-opoly.

"I have a college application to work on," she said.

"You want to get run over?" he joked, moving his wheelchair toward her.

Avi, who is left-handed, said one of the toughest parts of recovering is learning to write with his right hand. But it's not the first time he's faced that challenge.

Avi — the "rebel" in the family, according to his sister Michelle — has broken his left arm twice, "once doing a backflip off a wall when I was little," he said.

"I thought I was Spider-Man," he said, smiling.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@sptimes.com or (813) 661-2443.

Avi Davidson, who was nearly electrocuted climbing a power pole in October, and his mom, Lea Merrill Davidson-Bern, talk with the news media Thursday in their Northdale home about Avi’s recovery and his plans for the future.

SKIP O’ROURKE | Times

Avi Davidson, who was nearly electrocuted climbing a power pole in October, and his mom, Lea Merrill Davidson-Bern, talk with the news media Thursday in their Northdale home about Avi’s recovery and his plans for the future.

Teen with power pole injuries in good spirits after return home 12/31/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 31, 2009 10:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What to watch this weekend: Grateful Dead documentary, 'House of Cards' returns Tuesday

    Blogs

    The Grateful Dead: Long Strange Trip

    Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in Season 5 of House of Cards on Netflix.
  2. Florida TaxWatch calls out $180 million of questionable spending in state budget

    Blogs

    Florida TaxWatch, a Tallahassee thinktank, has released its annual "budget turkey" list that calls on Gov. Rick Scott to veto nearly $180 million in special projects tucked into the budget, mostly in transportation.

    Kurt Wenner, Florida TaxWatch's vice president for research, presents the organization's 2017 turkey list.
  3. U.S. plans first test of ICBM intercept, with North Korea on mind

    Blogs

    WASHINGTON — Preparing for North Korea's growing threat, the Pentagon will try to shoot down an intercontinental-range missile for the first time in a test next week. The goal is to more closely simulate a North Korean ICBM aimed at the U.S. homeland, officials said Friday.

    n this May 21 file photo people watch a TV news program showing a file image of a missile launch conducted by North Korea, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea. With North Korea's nuclear missile threat in mind, the Pentagon is planning a missile defense test next week that for the first time will target an intercontinental-range missile.
  4. A breakdown of the proposed new state budget by the Florida Association of Counties.
  5. Gradebook podcast: Budgets, pre-k, achievement gap and more

    Blogs

    As classes let out across Florida, school district leaders continue to analyze how they're going to balance their budgets given the constraints proposed by state lawmakers.  Reporter Jeff Solochek and editor Tom Tobin discuss the concerns district finance officials are raising as they look at the budget while …