Remember Eric LeGrand, the Rutgers defensive tackle who was paralyzed from the neck down on a hit? Good news, everyone; his rehabilitation process is starting to show some reward, as LeGrand can now move his shoulders and has sensation back in his body and will talk in an interview on ESPN soon.
ESPN New York:
Eric LeGrand, the Rutgers defensive tackle who was paralyzed from the neck down in a game against Army on Oct. 16, says he has regained full sensation in his entire body and movement in his shoulders.
LeGrand, 20, revealed the news in an exclusive first interview with ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi, which will debut during the 9 a.m. ET edition of “SportsCenter” on Friday.
The 6-foot-2, 275-pound junior fractured his C-3 and C-4 vertebrae while making a tackle on a kickoff return and admitted in the interview that he feared for his life immediately after suffering the injury.
“Fear of death, that’s the biggest fear that I got because I couldn’t breathe the way I was breathing and I couldn’t move,” LeGrand said. “Laying out on the ground, motionless, not being able to breathe was the hardest part in thinking, can I die here?”
Six days after surgery, LeGrand first moved his shoulders. In early November, he was taken off a ventilator and was breathing on his own. He was transferred to the Kessler Institute in West Orange, N.J., to continue his rehabilitation.
In mid-December, LeGrand had another breakthrough. For the first time since the injury, he had sensation in his hands.
“I always rub his hands as he’s laying there,” Karen said, “and I think he said, ‘I feel that. I think I feel that.’ I’m like, what are you talking about? He’s like, ‘I think I feel something — you rubbing my hands. I can feel my hands.’”
“As my mom, she placed her hand on me, I was like, ‘Wow! I felt that.’ And that was just a big shock and it was just like, ‘Wow! It’s coming back. It’s coming back.’”
Let me just say that I’m incredibly happy that LeGrand has some feeling back. He wants to one day be able to walk again, and I hope he can. I remember what happened to Kevin Everett and being completely stunned that this could happen to someone on a football field (I’d never seen something like that before).
That’s why I’d like to take the end of this post and have it feature a song I’d like to dedicate to LeGrand. Keep on rehabbing, you big, unfortunate man.