On December 10, 2017 Clayton Pike '22 was joyfully playing in the snow with friends following the Buffalo Bills victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Clayton landed in a spot where there wasn't enough snow and fractured his C5 vertebrae -- an injury to his spinal cord which rendered him a quadriplegic.
Clayton underwent surgery at Oishei Children’s Hospital, where he was an inpatient for several weeks before being transferred to a Pittsburgh hospital. From there he went to Atlanta’s Shepherd Center where he learned to walk again, although he will always be working on his recovery.
Coincidentally, Clayton's accident happened exactly one year after Andrew Mangan '18 also suffered a severe spinal cord injury from a similar accident while playing in snow. Andrew also had to learn to walk again. Clayton's mother, Kim, says they met the Mangans shortly after Clayton's accident and the Mangan's have been very helpful during Clayton's rehab.
This fall, Oishei Children’s Hospital invited Clayton to team up with Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen for the NFL’s "My Cleats My Cause" campaign. The two collaborated on a design of cleats to represent trauma injuries. Josh will be wearing the cleats they designed when the Bills host the Ravens at New Era Field on December 8, nearly two years to the day of Clayton’s accident.