Local teen severely hurt in snowboarding accident

Cape High sophomore Gavin Birl suffers spinal cord injury
January 14, 2021

Cape High sophomore Gavin Birl suffered a significant injury while snowboarding in Pennsylvania Jan. 12, requiring emergency surgery to repair his spinal cord.

Gavin is the son of Cape grads Damian and Katherine Birl, owners of Smokin D’z Real Pit BBQ in Milton. Prior to his surgery at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pa., Katherine said Gavin had no feeling below his chest area. He will be moved to Philadelphia for intensive physical therapy when doctors say he is ready.

“We need as many prayers as we can get,” Katherine said. “The more people that know of Gavin, then the more people we have lifting him up. Please continue to pray for him. We need a miracle. We need God’s healing on my son’s spinal cord.”

Gavin has a long road ahead, Katherine said, but the family is hopeful for a full recovery.

A gofundme organized by family friend Robin Palumbo Thompson has raised more than $37,000 since it was launched Jan. 13. Search for Help Gavin Birl and Family on

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