Sarah Ford | May 21, 2014

In an Instant: Mother Reflects on her Son’s Life After Paralysis

As a mother, you always want the best for your children. You do your best to nurture them, to teach them right from wrong and give them every opportunity to succeed. Whether it means holding their hands when they need help or picking them up after a fall; you do whatever is necessary so that they develop into caring and responsible adults. After all, that is a mother’s job.

I always wanted my children to be the best that they could be no matter what they were doing. And I constantly reminded them that the word “can’t” was not part of our vocabulary.

My life revolved around my children. Being involved in their extra circular activities along with their school and teachers were a priority for me. I always told them that a good education was one of the keys to succeeding in life.

Having my children grow into intelligent, responsible young adults was my dream. I was a proud mother with my daughter successfully graduating from college and her younger brother receiving an athletic scholarship to attend a prestigious university.

That dream and our lives were turned upside down on October 16, 2010, when my son, a football player for Rutgers University, made a tackle on an opposing Army player. My son’s name is Eric LeGrand and as he lay on the field motionless, while I looked on horrified, our lives were forever altered in an instant.

Like I said, my job as mom was to pick up Eric after he fell, wipe off the dirt and keep him moving forward. But this time, it was not that easy. Never in my life had I felt so helpless. I didn’t know the extent of his injuries only that he lay there motionless. I prayed, hoped and pleaded that he was alive.

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