INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A local teenager is in a hospital overseas after a fall severely injured his back. The parents of Alex Kalscheur, 18, said their son cracked one vertebrate and shattered another.
Alex went to France near the end of June. His sister, Sophia Kalscheur, 16, said he was supposed to come home Wednesday.
"He was visiting a friend of the family," Sophia said. "He had just been made Eagle Scout. It was kind of a celebration, summer vacation, and seeing friends again."
Last weekend, after a dinner, Alex wanted to stargaze. He went to get on a two-foot wall, according to his parents, but didn't realize there was a 30-foot drop on the other side. He was in the Alps when the teen fell.
After the parents, Amy and Michael Kalscheur, found out, it took them almost 48 hours to get to France and to Alex's hospital bed.
"I was diagnosed with cancer and it was a couple years," said Amy. "That was way easier than this. Those 48 hours were the hardest 48 hours of my life."
Neither parents speak French and the teen's medical records aren't in English. The parents said it's been a difficult time keeping up with exactly what's going on with their son.
Alex suffered a setback Thursday after going through a blood transfusion.
Amy said her son is dealing with some paralysis right now on his road to recovery.
“His upper legs are working, his knees can bend, but his lower legs and feet don’t work," she said. "They don’t move. He can feel pressure when we touch his feet, though."
The couple wants the teen to go through rehabilitation back in Indiana. However, under his current condition, Alex needs to remain lying down, and that's not allowed on commercial flights.
His grandmother, Pat Kicinski, has researched medical flights. Two could possibly do the job, but it's not cheap.
"Range anywhere from $80,000 to $110,000," said Kicinski. "They want it up front, before the flight is setup. And insurance doesn’t cover it."
A GoFundMe page has started to help the family with medical costs. It had nearly 60 donors in the first, raising more than $5,000.
The parents said they're not sure when Alex will be able to return home or how they'll get him back to the states. His mother plans to be with him until he returns home.
Alex is one of eight children Amy and Michael have. Sophia and Alex work at the same McDonald's at the corner of County Line Road and Madison Avenue. Alex is a boss of his younger sister, according to Sophia.
"We have done so much together," Sophia said. "We go to school together. I’ve probably spent more time with him than anybody else in my family. I really need him here."