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In June 1989, Jim Sanders was 23 and down the Shore in Longport with his fellow Temple University seniors, celebrating the end of the school year.

Mr. Sanders, who had just arrived in a car without air-conditioning, dove off a bulkhead into shallow water.

In a split second, his life changed forever.

He emerged from that moment a quadriplegic, the result of grave injury to his C3 and C4 vertebrae. After lengthy therapy, his voice returned. He could still breathe on his own. And his spirit remained undaunted.

“He had a spark, and that’s what saved his life,” said his sister, Keryn Rush.

James O. Sanders – who refused to let paralysis keep him from an independent life, who started his own IT company in Wayne, designing websites with a mouth stick – died Thursday, May 19, at Paoli Hospital, his family reported on Friday. He was 49.

The cause of his

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