MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A young father is fighting to get stronger after doctors say a diving accident likely left him paralyzed.

It happened during a bachelor party Saturday on Lake Minnetonka. Kirk Ingram, 28, dove off a pontoon into water that was shallower than he thought.

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Ingram now has a crushed spine and no feeling from the chest down. He’s also a new father to a baby girl.

“My hope is him being able to carry his baby girl again,” said his mother, Theresa Ingram.

Ingram’s family says that he and a handful of friends all jumped off a pontoon on Maxwell Bay.

“He jumped off one side, it was deep. I think it was up to 10 feet deep on one side,” said Ingram’s brother, Lucas Ingram. “He thought he must have been jumping off the same side, and it was only five feet deep and he dove in – head first.”

Doctors at North Memorial Medical Center performed surgery on Ingram. They told the family that the injury to Ingram’s spinal cord is so severe that his chances of walking again are slim.

“He is himself mentally, which is a blessing,” Lucas Ingram said. “He is the most optimistic person in the room. He’s really just saying if I have a one percent chance of walking, then I am going to walk. It’s his attitude about everything.”

Lucas Ingram says his big brother is a great athlete who played baseball in college and currently plays with a league in St. Louis Park.

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The family hopes he’ll keep his mind focused on the people and the activities he loves, while his body heals.

“His mind is perfect. And he just loves,” Theresa Ingram said. “He’s the strongest person I’ve ever met my whole life.”

Kirk Ingram works at Target as an IT project manager.

He and his wife, Melissa, have been married about six years and their two-week-old daughter, Alexa, is their first child.

Ingram’s doctors are limiting how much time he can have visitors so that he can rest as much as possible.

The family says they are getting a lot support from their friends and their church, but they know that Ingram is in for a long recovery.

Still, Ingram plans to walk his daughter down the aisle when she gets married.

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If you’d like to donate to Kirk Ingram’s recovery, you can do so at his gofundme page, by buying a #TeamKirk T-shirt and by donating to his CaringBridge page.