It's been more than two months since the devastating May 12 Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia that killed eight people and injured more than 200 others, including chef Eli Kulp (Fork, High Street on Market), who sustained a severe spinal cord injury in the crash. Now, Kulp has gone public for the first time about his experience and the extent of his injuries, speaking to the NY Post.
Kulp notes that he was headed home to his family in New York a bit earlier than planned that night due to a slow evening at Fork and an early CrossFit class the next morning, and describes the moments surrounding the impact to the Post: "I flew across and hit the opposite luggage rack with my neck and then all that sort of flaps on top of me ... I immediately knew I was paralyzed. I tried to start moving and I couldn't." A half-hour reportedly passed before he was found and pulled from the debris.
Kulp is currently in recovery
in New York, and his prognosis remains uncertain. One of Kulp's doctors explains to the Post that "it's quite possible and most likely that he's not going to walk again and he's going to have limited, if any, use of his hands." UPDATED 7/21: According to Michael Vitez of the Inquirer, Kulp has recently been transferred to a rehab facility in Atlanta, where he is expected to remain for one month.
Kulp has now filed a lawsuit against Amtrak for negligence. The rail company paid for initial care, but has since ceased assistance. While he does have medical insurance, Kulp will require extensive, ongoing rehabilitation. A GoFundMe campaign started by a family friend notes home modifications and home health aides, specialized transport, and more out of pocket costs the Kulp family will face. A benefit for Kulp held last week at Fork is said to have raised $130,000, and another benefit is being held tonight in NYC. The online fundraiser has raised over $50,000.
High Street on Hudson, the NYC spinoff of High Street on Market targeting an opening this fall, is still reportedly on schedule.