Married at First Sight star Nick Pendergrast said he is now partially paralyzed after he was in a near-fatal accident in January 2019. He now requires a wheelchair to get around and has been through a "depressing" and "difficult" six months. The former reality star is still holding out hope he can walk again someday.
In a statement to PEOPLE Friday, Pendergrast credited girlfriend Heather Yerrid and their twins Logan and Layla with motivating him to get better.
"It's been the hardest year of my life, to say the least! [I've] had a lot of support from Heather and especially my mom … I don't know what I would have done without them," Pendergrast said. "Motivation is all over my temporary apartment in the form of baby photos! My kids keep me going."
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Pendergrast said he finally felt it was time to share his story because being a former Married at First Sight star has given him an "amazing support system" from fans.
On Friday, Pendergrast finally opened up with fans about Jan. 22 accident in an Instagram post. Before the post, almost all of his Instagram posts from this year were photos of his children and Yerrid.
The new Instagam post included a gallery of photos showing Pendergrast being cared for in the hospital.
One photo shows his mother visiting him, while another shows his sitting up with his twins in bed. The gallery also includes a video of him working with a trainer in rehab.
"It's been a life changing and devastating 2019. I knew for myself I needed to be in a better mental state to share what happened to me in January," Pendergrast wrote. "I don't really know if I am truly ready to open up about all of it in fear of how it will be received. What I am sure of, I need all the support I can get right now to make it through this. These pictures were taken so that if I survived, I could see how far I have come to give me hope for the future."
Pendergrast said that when Yerrid arrived at the hospital after the accident, she was told doctors did not know if he would survive. He was "found submerged in water for hours, with severe hypothermia, multiple pelvic fractures, severely comminuted sacral fractures, Morel-Lavallee, and more" after the accident.
"Up until 2019, I had never met anyone in a wheelchair or knew of anyone in my circle that had experienced this type of thing," Pendergrast wrote. "I had to relocate to a place that had the best doctors to save my life, and the best environment to regain any functionality in my lower body. The past 6 months have been lonely, depressing, scary, stressful, and difficult. Just recently, my goal has been to learn how to become independent again as a disabled individual."
He continued, "I have the support of my family. Heather brings one child at a time to see me since she can't yet travel with two. I am fighting every day to stay sane, motivated, and in high spirits. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I have gained empathy, compassion, and gratitude through this and hope to gain more. If nothing else, I just want to be able to walk again."
In the end, Pendergrast asked his 56,000 followers to share their own stories of they have went through something similar so he can learn how others coped.
"Even if you were told you'd never walk again and didn't, I would love to hear how you have coped and moved forward," he wrote. "I am asking for your prayers, love, and hope through this difficult journey."
Pendergrast appeared in the fourth season of Married at First Sight, and was married to Sonia Granados. Three months after the couple divorced, Pendergrast announced Yerrid was pregnant with twins. The twins were born prematurely in December 2017.
Photo credit: Instagram/Nick Pendergrast0comments