Diving Back into Life (with Family)

Diving Back into Life (with Family)

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Paul Zanelli has been a volunteer fireman and EMT for over 35 years. He’s a husband, a father and, after crushing his right foot during a home project and spending 33 days confined to a hospital bed… an amputee.

But missing part of a limb hasn’t made him less of a husband, a father… or a traveler.

Paul Zanelli (right), with his wife Cindy, daughter Abbie and son Jaz

Paul Zanelli (right), with his wife Cindy, daughter Abbie and son Jaz at Kids Sea Camp in Dominica

“When I opened my eyes on the morning of December 23, 2016, minus a leg, I looked up at the hospital room TV to see a one-legged superstar running a Spartan race. It was like God was trying to show me a new world of possibilities,” commented Zanelli.

Staying Strong
Zanelli spent Christmas in the hospital with his family and friends.

“So many people came to visit,” he shared. “But as much joy as that brought to me, it was hard seeing the pain and sorrow in their eyes. But I was out of pain! I was going to be OK! I did not need them to feel sorry for me. I became determined to stay strong and lead a normal life.”

He returned home from the hospital on December 27 and, with equal measures of hope and fear, he literally and figuratively set his mind to next steps. That was when he received a call from Margo Peyton, owner of Kids Sea Camp.

“She was one of the first people to reach out to me. And it was the start of a new and wonderful relationship with her, my family and diving.”


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