His friends on the beach thought he was joking as he lay in the water until a wave flipped him over and he still wasn’t moving. His friend Joey pulled him out of the water and he was then rushed to Delray Medical Center. After multiple x-rays, CAT scans and MRIs he was sent into emergency surgery for the next 6 hours. They replaced his C4 vertebrae with a titanium cage and four titanium pins to stabilize his neck. In a split second Cruise had been paralyzed from the neck down. He spent the next two weeks in the Delray ICU Trauma Unit and then on December 31st he was airlifted to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia for rehab. He remained there for the next 2 1/2 months, working hard to be strong enough to return home.