2014 – Cody Zedak

Cody and his twin sister Kyleigh, were born February 8th, 1997, premature and each only 3 lbs, 4 oz in weight, they entered this world fighting fCodyor life.

17 years later, Cody is again in a fight for his life.

On October 13th, 2013, Cody was one of four teens riding in an Explorer, none of which were wearing seat belts when they were involved in a tragic, but avoidable, accident just a mile from Cody’s home.  Although the accident is still under investigation, excessive speed was determined to be a factor.  Three of the teens fortunately sustained only minor injuries when the vehicle slammed into a utility pole.  However, Cody had to be cut-out of the vehicle by EMT responders and transported to UPMC Beaver where physicians induced a medical coma prior to a life-flight to Oakland’s Presbyterian Hospital, nationally recognized for its treatment of brain trauma.  Emergency surgery was performed to save Cody’s life even though the initial prognosis was ‘slim-to-none’ for his survival.  But Cody is a ‘fighter’ and he fought to live but sustained horrific head injuries, including scores of fractures to his skull and face.  Cody suffered severe brain damage, is now blind and lost his hearing in one ear.  He faces multiple future surgeries to place metal plates in his shattered skull and plastic surgery to reconstruct facial injuries.

After seven weeks in ICU at Presbyterian, Cody continues his fight and his recovery at Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh in Squirrel Hill where therapists are teaching him to speak and to walk again.  Cody was supposed to obtain his driver’s license this year and to make his truck, his beloved 1997 S10 which he bought himself with his hard-earned money, legally his own.  But, instead his Mom & Dad helped him to make a color decision for his wheelchair, a color he’ll never be able to see himself.

Cody has a great love of animals and the outdoors.  His pets include three dogs – Sadie, Delilah and Princess (his favorite, aka “Moose-Moose” as Cody has called her since she was a puppy) and two skunks – Penelope (the love button) and Maddie (the ‘wild child’) – all a big part of Cody’s life and his support group.  The summers found Cody enjoying the family camp where he loved to fish, target practice with his bow and arrows, his rifle and explore the land on the family quad.  Once on that quad, it was difficult to get him off of it!  Cody played hard, but he also worked hard, no job beneath him, willing to work any season and any job to earn money and be his own man.

Cody has always been passive, but not when it comes to his family, especially his twin sister Kyleigh, who he protected and loves so much.  Always looking to help others, Cody gave of himself, his ‘generosity gene’ knew no boundaries.  The word, “NO”, was not a reply he gave to others.  And, it’s his family that fights alongside him now as he continues his recovery, a struggle he will not endure on his own, for so many people love Cody and we’ll fight ‘tooth-and-nail’ to give back to him every inch of the life he once had.

2014 Memorial Cup Photo Archive