Metro Atlanta man on honeymoon in Hawaii paralyzed after going surfing

HONOLULU, HAWAII — An East Point man is working to recover after he was paralyzed while surfing in Hawaii on his honeymoon.

Brendan Town, 32, is a well-known mixologist in the East Point community, according to family members.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

He was in Hawaii with his new wife, Cho Park, when he had mild discomfort in his lower back that quickly deteriorated to numbness and paralysis.

He was diagnosed with a rare, non-traumatic spinal injury caused by hyperextension of the back called Surfer’s Myelopathy.


According to the National Library of Medicine, more than 60 cases of Surfer’s Myelopathy have ever been diagnosed. While it is commonly associated with surfing, other activities like gymnastics, cheerleading, acrobatics, ballet, yoga and pilates can also cause the condition.

Town has been in the hospital in Honolulu ever since. He was just released from the intensive care unit on Monday.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]

“My goal is to be able to withstand the 8-9 hour flight back home by the end of this week,” Town wrote on a GoFundMe set up to help with expenses. “Once back home I will be starting inpatient physical therapy that will help expedite the process of my healing and being able to walk again.”

While Town and Park were on their honeymoon, they announced that they are expecting a baby boy in February.

It is possible to make a complete recovery from Surfery’s Myelopathy.

“We are still waiting to hear back from the doctor of more detailed results but considering he still has small feeling to his lower half we are very hopeful he will make improvements with the help of good rest and physical therapy,” Park wrote on GoFundMe.

So far, the community has raised more than $7,500 to help with Town’s medical expenses. You can donate HERE.

Comments on this article