KUSI News San Diego
By John Soderman
Posted: Jul 25, 2014
When asked his reaction to the outbreak of love and compassion generated by his story, Abbott is visibly shaken.
"When I have people who don't even know me and they call me from Hawaii, Australia and France and say 'Hey, just get back in the water and surf and you're gonna be ok. We love you buddy!' That means a lot to me."
Randy Abbott gets around in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down. But that hasn't prevented him from surfing three or four times a week. You see, it wasn't that long ago doctors told him he would never surf again after a back surgery went terribly wrong.
After spending fourteen years as a Marine Corps recon scout sniper, Abbott's body got pretty banged up. When he got out of the service he needed back surgery. But during that surgery his spinal cord ended up getting accidentally severed, leaving him paralyzed.
But Abbott turned his tragedy into a triumph, opening a surf camp for kids with disabilities. After all, he was able to get back into the water himself because of specially designed surfboards. Surfboards that ended up getting stolen Monday night after two thugs assaulted Abbott, leaving him with cuts and scrapes after they threw him out of his wheelchair.
"One guy was cutting the straps and I said 'Hey, I'm paralyzed, don't steal my surfboards!'" said Abbott. "And then the other guy came at me and took a swing at me, and I took a swing at him. He missed, and I connected. I caught him with a pretty good uppercut."
"The guy that was cutting the straps had come around behind me, and threw me out of my wheelchair, and then kicked my wheelchair and it rolled probably 50 feet down the parking lot. Then they threw my surfboards in the back of their (Toyota) 4Runner and took off."
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