Seven months after doctors told him he’d never be able to use his legs again, a man stood up and walked out of a rehabilitation center with his two young daughters at his side.
Cole Thomas, of Rochelle, Ill., told “Today” that he shattered a vertebra in a September 2016 car crash.
“I realized I was hurt very badly,” the 34-year-old father of two said. “I looked down at my legs, and I couldn’t feel them, and I was like, ‘Oh boy.'”
He later learned he shattered his L2 vertebra and had pieces of it embedded in his spinal cord. Doctors told him he was paralyzed from the waist down.
Determined to walk his young daughters down the aisle someday, Thomas posted a video to Facebook from his hospital bed.
“They told me I will never walk again. I’m bound and determined to prove them wrong,” he said in the video.
He asked people for help connecting him to resources to help him learn how to walk. A relative reached out with information about the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago.
He started therapy just eight days after the accident.
After months of hard work and determination, Thomas walked out of the rehabilitation center on Friday with his daughters by his side.
“I know I was going to have to give rehab and therapy 110 percent, just like I did my job. I have to walk again no matter what,” Thomas told “Today.” “I have to be the best I could be.”