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Paralyzing injury can't keep student from walking at graduation

It's a rite of passage for many in the metro right now -- walking across that stage at graduation. For one young man ...

Posted: May 22, 2018 4:31 PM
Updated: May 22, 2018 4:31 PM

It's a rite of passage for many in the metro right now -- walking across that stage at graduation. For one young man in Excelsior Springs, it took a lot more than just making the grades to get there.

FOX4 told you about Greg Murphy before. In 2016, an ATV accident paralyzed him from the chest down. Yet this weekend, he managed to walk across the stage.

At Excelsior Springs High School Friday night, as Greg Murphy's name was called, the crowd cheered. As he was wheeled onto the stage, the crowd continued to cheer. Then, as a silver walker was pulled from a hiding spot, the crowd grew silent. It was at that moment that the crowd knew.

It took a lot for Greg Murphy to get to this moment.

"I just waited on my name to get called," the graduate explained. "And once it did, I went up there. I had the help of my two friends, locked my legs out, stood up and then took the steps across the stage."

"I don't remember a whole lot," he said, "because when I stood up, everything went really quiet in my head. I remember looking around, and seeing people standing up, but I didn't hear anything, really. But looking back on the video, I can tell it's really loud."

Greg Murphy says it nonchalantly; his demeanor does not convey how much work it took to get to this point.

"We're all different people for it," said his mother Angie, "but we're all better people for it."

On Presidents Day weekend 2016, an ATV flipped onto Greg, landing on his chest and paralyzing the high school football and basketball player.

It took months of physical therapy, both in Denver and Kansas City, and every ounce of determination Greg had to swing his 6-foot-6 frame across that stage Friday night.

It was just a few dozen feet, but for a man who has been paralyzed for years, it was freedom.

"It meant a lot," said Greg. "It's been my goal. It's been my goal since the day I got hurt just to do that."

He continued, "I don't want to go just four or five steps and have to stop," he said. "If I was going to do it all, I was going to be sure I went all the way across."

That same tenacity will drive him to college in University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg this August. After that, he hopes to walk into his future.

"If I never stopped during this, then I don't think there's anything else in life that could happen to me," he said, "that could make me stop doing whatever it is I'm doing. If I can deal with this, I can deal with anything really."

Already, he's taken the first steps.

Greg's steps are also making the rounds on social media. "It keeps growing," he said. "Every time I look at the number of total views, it just keeps getting bigger and bigger."

The former high school athlete is glad that his message resonates with so many.

"They're seeing it, and maybe I'm inspiring them to do stuff. As long as they're seeing it, and getting something out of it, that's all that really matters."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 503322

Reported Deaths: 10057
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34400541
DeSoto32318411
Hinds32074631
Jackson24551386
Rankin22103391
Lee15657235
Madison14662281
Jones13894243
Forrest13506253
Lauderdale12037318
Lowndes11091192
Lamar10531138
Pearl River9557238
Lafayette8581140
Hancock7751130
Washington7458161
Oktibbeha7152133
Monroe6796178
Warren6752176
Pontotoc6736104
Neshoba6656206
Panola6572131
Marshall6494135
Bolivar6331150
Union607794
Pike5849154
Alcorn5691102
Lincoln5468135
George502979
Scott474198
Tippah472481
Prentiss471582
Leflore4676144
Itawamba4651105
Tate4632111
Adams4617120
Copiah450092
Simpson4458116
Yazoo445388
Wayne440772
Covington429894
Sunflower4246105
Marion4236108
Coahoma4178108
Leake409888
Newton383179
Grenada3731108
Tishomingo361592
Stone360664
Jasper336565
Attala335290
Winston315391
Clay309077
Chickasaw302367
Clarke295894
Calhoun279947
Holmes268788
Smith266550
Yalobusha237247
Tallahatchie228752
Greene220649
Walthall219364
Lawrence213640
Perry206456
Amite206056
Webster203446
Noxubee186940
Montgomery179757
Jefferson Davis172243
Carroll169639
Tunica160139
Benton149439
Kemper142141
Choctaw134627
Claiborne132838
Humphreys129738
Franklin120728
Quitman106828
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson95934
Sharkey64220
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 821255

Reported Deaths: 15424
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1149051930
Mobile726651340
Madison52400699
Shelby37685350
Baldwin37285552
Tuscaloosa35147613
Montgomery34130740
Lee23556246
Calhoun22255490
Morgan21037378
Etowah19844500
Marshall18390304
Houston17406412
St. Clair16091339
Cullman15493293
Limestone15402199
Elmore15292286
Lauderdale14366295
Talladega13870283
DeKalb12670261
Walker11255370
Blount10227176
Autauga10061148
Jackson9909185
Coffee9215191
Dale8912186
Colbert8907201
Tallapoosa7103198
Escambia6782134
Covington6724183
Chilton6658162
Russell637659
Franklin5992105
Chambers5615142
Marion5016127
Dallas5013202
Pike4799106
Clarke477284
Geneva4577127
Winston4538103
Lawrence4352117
Bibb425686
Barbour358376
Marengo338390
Monroe332064
Randolph330264
Butler328596
Pickens317384
Henry313166
Hale311988
Cherokee303260
Fayette294580
Washington251651
Cleburne247960
Clay245568
Crenshaw245475
Macon235563
Lamar225747
Conecuh186654
Coosa180940
Lowndes175764
Wilcox169139
Bullock151844
Perry139240
Sumter133338
Greene126744
Choctaw88527
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