Let’s Talk About Real Inspiration

October  16, 2010.  This date will be remembered by many Scarlet Knight football fans as the day that forever changed Rutgers football.  October 16 was the day that the Knights would play one of their toughest games of the season against Army.  It also is the day that Eric LeGrand became paralyzed below the neck.

The injury occurred with just over five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game, just after Rutgers had scored a touchdown to tie the game at 17. LeGrand was attempting to make a tackle on the ensuing kickoff, and was involved in a violent collision with Army’s Malcolm Brown. LeGrand lay motionless on the field for several minutes before being carted off.

Rutgers\’ Eric LeGrand Injured Vs Army 2010

Eric had emergency surgery that night to stabilize his spinal cord.  He was placed on a ventilator to help regulate his breathing as he was unable to do so on his own.  Doctors told his mother that there was less than 5% chance of him ever regaining feeling in his extremities and only a 2% chance of him ever walking again.

With the help of his family, teammates, and the entire Rutgers community, Eric has not only regained feeling in his extremities but is able to stand up for approximately 45 minutes and is able to move is hands and fingers.

Eric has been an inspiration to not only the Rutgers football team but to everyone who has been able to sit with him for a few minutes and talk to him.  Eric refused to give up even though his chances of ever being “normal” were nearly impossible to recover.  If there was any one who deserved the recognition for being a “sports hero” it would be Eric LeGrand because he has shown the world that perseverance does make a difference. #Believe
Rutger\’s Guard Eric LeGrand talks recovery after football paralysis

One Response to “Let’s Talk About Real Inspiration”

  1. southpaw92 says:

    I first learned about this man Eric Garland by watching an interview with him on ESPN.
    Yes, I refer to him as a man because he handled this tragedy truely like a man. Ever so often, athletes and sports fans think of sports as their life. Without sports, they feel like their life is over. Garland, on the other hand saw how fortunate he is to still be alive and living, and through hard work and perseverance he was able to regain feeling in his arms and legs, and was able to accept the changes in his life.

    To me, he has taught me two lessons that are valuable to one’s life. The first is to “battle”. Battle against the people who tell you that you can never do something. To me, nothing is more satisfying than proving to somebody who has shown doubt in you, that you are capable of doing something. Garland did this by defying odds of never being able to feel his arms and legs, despite the fact that he was told he never wouls. As he continues to battle the odds, God only knows how far his drive will take him in his battle with paralysis.

    The other part I found fascinating with his story, was the fact that he was able to accept the fact that his football career was over and that he was going to make the best out of his unfortunate situation and continue to live his life to the fullest. I suppose that he’s been playing football ever since he was a young child, and to give up something that has been apart of your life for so long, and in the way that it ended, and being able to accept fate is truely inspiring to all of us. This story stretches far beyond sports. It teaches us lessons that are valuable in life, and it challenges us to put our life into perspective.