Former Tulane football player Devon Walker will make his first appearance at Tulsa's H.A. Chapman Stadium since suffering an injury two years ago that left him paralyzed from the neck down.
Walker will attend the game between Tulsa and Tulane and will be recognized on the field at halftime along with his mother, Inez, and various medical personnel, a TU spokesman said. The video boards will play a thank-you message from Walker to athletic trainers from both schools, the EMTs who responded to the call and the staff at St. Francis Hospital who treated him for 10 days.
On Sept. 8, 2012, Walker injured his C3 and C4 vertebrae when he collided with a teammate while trying to make a tackle during the final play of the first half. Walker was taken to St. Francis Hospital where he underwent a three-hour surgery to stabilize his spine.
After an extensive rehabilitation, Walker resumed his schoolwork at Tulane in August 2013 and graduated last year with a degree in cell and molecular biology. He was drafted by the New Orleans Saints and is listed in the media guide as reserve/retired.
He recently accepted a position to advise for the College Football Assistance Fund, which provides resources and financial assistance to players who have suffered severe injuries while playing college football.
Walker just began work on his master’s degree.
"I think it's nothing short of amazing what Devon has done to date in dealing with the injury, the paralysis, and moving forward with his life and being an example and an inspiration for his team and for people with spinal cord injuries," Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship told the Tulsa World. "It's still very surreal looking back. ... It is not lost on us that this is the first time we will have played Tulane in our stadium since that happened."
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