Hi Budjessee, you certainly have my best wishes for your son. SM is a profoundly devastating condition to strike a young healthy person. I certainly suggest that you keep up the good work to make the condition more known. Given the numbers of surfers world wide it still is uncommon if not rare, and that doesn't address the effects that happen to the entire family through this.
Hi too islandgalrc
Surfers' Myelopathy needs to be more thoroughly researched and I believe that evidence of more cases would be found if different diagnostic measures were used.
You mention Pete was a 3 sport athlete.
Speculation is that the surf specific spinal stress may not be accommodated in the musculature of new surfers and the the para spinal blood supply is somehow compromised, and like a stroke or TIA causes death or transient damage to the spinal cord. There is no information yet that there are any pre-existing unknown problems that cause this failure.
Uncommon situations need more education and I would certainly recommend recognition of symptoms of SM be learned by surf school and beach lifeguards.
It is a little problematical ( tragically so) when so little is known and what may be a clinically defining sign may also be missed.
There is also Cervical Myelopathy that can be a consequence of non traumatic circumstance in surfing.
I did a little research after finding the initial post, and there is next to nothing on SM in peer journals in Australia.
If you pm me I will send a bibliography of articles but most of them are re-appraisals of Hawaiian incidents with which you are all too familiar.
I will keep a tail on this and if anything pertinent comes from our side of the world i will send it to you.
I applaud your fundraising and the network you are building for SM hopefully the pressure you can bring to bear across the whole community of surfing may change things so SM is indeed truly rare.
I recommend that you both communicate about this and there maybe something that comes of it.
Lots of love and best wishes from Australia, please feel free to use what I have written if it helps.
I've taken up troll hunting just for fun, instead of a rifle I'll just use a pun!