Chris Frey, at left, was paralyzed in a crash in eastern Oregon. Friends are raising funds to help the family transition, including finding and converting a home to suit his needs. (File)

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

A Keizer man was paralyzed in a recent crash in eastern Oregon, and friends are helping to raise funds to assist his family.

Chris Frey, 30, was riding in a truck on his way back from a hunting trip when the vehicle hit a patch of ice. He attempted to escape when it started rolling, but he was thrown from the vehicle and it landed on his lower body. Frey is still hospitalized in Boise, Idaho with extensive injuries, including a severed spinal cord, broken legs, back, ribs and shoulder. He waited in the forest for two hours before a LifeFlight helicopter was able to arrive.

But Jennifer Barnett, a family friend, points to the positives: His internal organs were virtually untouched, and he suffered no head trauma.

“He stayed calm and made it through and got to the hospital. He’s had quite a few surgeries,” she said.

Frey is a lifelong area resident and a 2000 graduate of McKay High School and works as a delivery driver for Food Services of America.

His wife, Cherise, is attempting to get her husband transferred to Providence Medical Center as soon as the doctors allow. They have two young daughters, ages 4 and 2.

“They’re just a fun, active family,” Barnett said “.He’s an amazing father and he loves his girls like no other – completely dedicated to them. Very understanding, funny, very open-minded – a lover of all things.”

He learned earlier this week that his injuries had made him a paraplegic.

“It was definitely emotional, but he’s not a quitter,” Barnett said. “From what his family said, he took it pretty well, as well as it could be taken.”

The family is in Boise now with him, she said, and numerous friends are offering help in whatever way they can. But needless to say, adjusting to a new life will be a struggle: Camping is one of their biggest hobbies, and their Keizer home isn’t equipped, and is not well-suited, for accommodating Chris once he comes home.

Fundraisers will be announced on a Facebook page created to support the family. Donations can be made at any Maps Credit Union to The Chris Frey Family Fund.