NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For the first time since being paralyzed during a game last October, Rutgers junior defensive tackle Eric LeGrand is speaking out, and says he will walk again one day.
In a game against Army at the new Meadowlands Stadium, LeGrand charged down the field as he always did. After delivering an open-field hit, he was completely unable to move.
In an interview with ESPN, LeGrand said he was afraid he was about to die, but now he wants nothing more than to live a normal life.
“I believe that I will walk one day. I believe it. God has a plan for me and I know it’s not to be sitting here all the time,” LeGrand said.
When he was being carried off the field, LeGrand said he tried to signal the crowd, but was unable to do so.
“When I tried to put the thumbs up, you know, when you get carted out … I couldn’t do it. It just feels like there’s a thousand pounds holding it down and it won’t move,” LeGrand said.
The impact broke LeGrand’s C3 and C4 vertebra. Doctors told LeGrand’s mother he had a zero to 5 percent chance of recovering any function.
Doctors said that if there was not motion or activity after 72 hours, the chances of recovery were very minimal.
However, LeGrand’s will and faith did not allow him to believe what the doctors said.
Six days after having surgery LeGrand was able to move his shoulders and during Thanksgiving week he was breathing without the help of a ventilator.
Just a few weeks ago, LeGrand said feeling returned to his hands, feet, legs and his entire body.