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Poker run benefits man injured on trip
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It had been more than a decade since James and Barbara Carnes had last taken a vacation.

"We were on a cruise to Costa Maya, Mexico, but it turned into a nightmare," Barbara Carnes said recalling the trip last November that left her husband without use of his arms and legs.

Barbara Carnes said her husband was diving off a fishing pier when he hit his head on the bottom of the ocean and fractured his neck.

"He was able to swim back up to the pier, but then his legs just gave out on him," she said.

Due to the seriousness of his health condition, the couple was not allowed back on the cruise line and was forced to pay cash for a five hour ambulance ride to Cancun.

"But I wasn't about to let them operate on him there. He was finally life-flighted to Grady in Atlanta for surgery on Friday and was in ICU for five days," she said.

He then spent two months at the Shepherd Spinal Center undergoing rehabilitation treatment.

While he does have limited arm function, she said her husband has a 10 percent chance of regaining the use of his legs.

"We're just now getting home, but we're continuing to do physical therapy three days a week," Barbara Carnes said.

A motorcycle poker run Saturday will help the family cover medical expenses.

"Insurance doesn't cover a lot of the therapy and a lot of the equipment he needs for rehabilitation," she said.

The poker run begins at Rock Creek Park and travels to Ellijay, Amicalola Falls State Park and Dahlonega before ending at Lorena's Food and Spirits in Dawsonville.

Registration is from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Bikes are out at 11 a.m. and the last bike will be in at 3 p.m.

Live entertainment, a raffle, silent auction and lunch will be available at the last stop.

There will also be a silent auction, raffles and entertainment.

For more information, call (770) 490-2549.

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