On Thursday, October 2nd, National Spine & Pain Centers partnered with Pfizer to host an event where former Rutgers University football player, Eric LeGrand, spoke about his life after experiencing a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Prior to Eric’s inspiring speech, the pain management doctors of National Spine & Pain Centers (NSPC) had the opportunity to speak with Eric in a private meet and greet (pictured).
With an attentive audience full of NSPC medical staff and medical professionals from across the DC metro area, Eric LeGrand spoke passionately about his journey from lying on the field to his struggle with pain, and his strength and perseverance to one day be on his feet again. He answered questions from the audience and spoke candidly of his day-to-day struggles. LeGrand commented that he would not be able to function if it wasn’t for the loving support of his family and friends. Eric works with doctors nearly on a daily basis to continue to regain feeling and strength in his body.
Eric’s Powerful Story
Eric, now 24 years old, was a high school football stand out from New Jersey who had the opportunity to play at the college level for Rutgers University. On October 16th, 2010 in the middle of his Junior season, Eric was running down field to cover a kick off during a game against Army at Met Life Stadium. Following a collision with an opposing player, LeGrand laid on the ground for several minutes before being carted off the field.
Eric fractured two vertebrae from the hit (his C-3 and C-4) and that night, underwent nine hours of emergency surgery to stabilize his spine. The prognosis was severe – doctors who operated on LeGrand gave him a zero to five percent chance of regaining neurological function. By January 2011, just three months after sustaining the injury, LeGrand had regained movement in his shoulders and sensation throughout his body.
Eric continued spinal rehabilitation and also entered the Reeve Foundation’s NeuroRecovery Network. Just after a year of rehab, LeGrand in his motorized wheelchair, led his Alma Mater (Rutgers Scarlet Knights) onto the field for a game against West Virginia. This moment was chosen by readers of Sports Illustrated as ‘The Best Moment in 2011.’
To continue reading more about Eric LeGrand, please click here to visit his website: teamlegrand.org.
The Future of Eric & Team LeGrand
Now a published author and philanthropist in his partnership with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Eric LeGrand is on a mission to one day be back on his feet. Tune in below to hear from Eric about how you can donate to his charity with the Reeve Foundation: