Former Paralytic Turned Personal Trainer Shares His Inspiring Story
“I was on a motocross track when my bike hit a rock and the accelerator just pinged,” Newman told The New York Post. “I got thrown off, and I landed on my back when I just felt it explode beneath me. I tried to get up, but I couldn’t move.”
Newman shattered his L3 vertebrae, punctured a lung and fractured his tailbone and pelvis in the accident and was airlifted to a hospital. He stayed there for 6 months as his body began to heal.
Doctors inserted metal rods into Newman’s back, but he suffered from nerve damage and was unable to feel or move his legs.
Confined to a wheelchair, he started working out his upper body at the gym. Despite doctors telling him he may never walk again, Newman remained determined to do what he could to regain mobility in his lower extremities.
“There was a lad I got chatting with on the [hospital] ward, who was just at a point of giving up, he never thought he’d walk again,” he said. “I decided to just befriend him and drag him along with me to the gym every time I went and told him that he would get there.”
Newman’s contagious resolve quickly rubbed off on his new workout buddy.
“He later sent me a video of himself walking up and down the stairs for the first time in years, and it gave me that inspiration I needed to try and help others,” Newman added.
Newman posts videos of his recover progress on TikTok and has amassed over 2,600 followers to date.
He can now walk on his own again, without the aid of a walker, but a full recovery may still be unrealistic.
“I may never be back to 100 percent,” he admitted. “But I’ve come so far and I’m so proud.”