AT&T Presents Eric LeGrand: My Beyond Limits Story
By Eric LeGrand
Some say you never know what you can do until you do it. I say you never know what you can do until you believe you can do it. This philosophy guided me through childhood, my studies at Rutgers University and after the football injury that shifted my life’s path.
In 2010, during a Rutgers-Army game, I suffered a severe spinal cord injury after colliding with another player. What would have been an ordinary tackle left me paralyzed from the neck down. The day after my accident, I was on a ventilator and unable to speak. When the doctors told my mom that I had a 0-5% chance of walking again, I mouthed to her, “I’ll be back.” But first, I had to be able to breathe on my own. With the aid of my medical team, we accomplished just that. A little over 6 weeks later, I was breathing independently.
I’ve been able to gain even more independence thanks to wireless technology. I can text, call, email and use social media with my mobile device and stylus pen. Thanks to innovative tech I can reach out to others and stay connected to the world.
There is no “right way” to respond to trauma. People react to unexpected challenges in different ways. Sometimes you cry. Sometimes you’re mad at the world. Sometimes you turn to faith to see you through. My reaction to my spinal injury was to hold tight to my personal faith and loved ones and maintain an unwavering belief that I can do anything I set my mind to. Even though I’m still working towards my goal of walking on my own, I continue to set and reach new goals I had never even considered.
That’s a message I am proud to amplify as part of the AT&T Beyond Limits campaign: If you can believe it, you can achieve it. The power to achieve your goals is inside of you at this very moment. No matter the outcome, if you’re giving it your all you can, you never truly fail. Believe it. Work for it. Achieve it.
To learn more about my story, visit www.TeamLeGrand.org. You can also follow me on Twitter @EricLeGrand52. For a more in depth look, read my book “Believe: My Faith and the Tackle That Changed My Life.”
Eric LeGrand is former Rutgers defensive tackle and motivational speaker sharing his Beyond Limits journey.