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Ty Williams was never specifically told he couldn’t walk again.
A devastating injury in 2015 while playing football for Georgetown had left him paralyzed and requiring a wheelchair, but the ability of being able to move on his own again wasn’t something out of reach — it was just going to take a lot of time and work.
All of Williams’ rehab began to pay dividends at his graduation ceremony Saturday as the linebacker climbed out of his wheelchair and walked across the stage while receiving a huge ovation, a bear hug from Georgetown president Jack DeGioia and a college degree.
Williams suffered a fractured vertebra that left partial feeling in his lower body but not the ability to will it to movement, according to the Washington Post. The diagnosis of C6 incomplete came after a routine play for the junior linebacker in 2015 against St. Francis. Williams moved to knock away a ball heading for the end zone when he collided with an opposing receiver.
Coaches and even Williams didn’t think much of the play when it happened, but as he tried to lift himself off the ground he couldn’t get his body to respond.
The injury didn’t stop Williams from being part of the team. Georgetown kept him on the roster and Williams even made the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll in 2016. He graduated with a degree in government this weekend.
With the help of a walker and leg braces, Williams was able to mark his academic achievement with a feat of strength two and a half years in the making.
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