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: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
Madison5120107
Forrest394786
Jones376188
Lauderdale3663147
Lafayette341053
Washington3321108
Lamar301950
Oktibbeha255262
Lowndes252867
Bolivar248084
Panola237353
Neshoba2280122
Marshall225051
Leflore211191
Monroe209778
Pontotoc208131
Lincoln200566
Sunflower194155
Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
Scott161330
Yazoo161340
Itawamba159936
Alcorn159328
Pearl River158969
Coahoma155943
Prentiss154931
Simpson154053
Adams147252
Grenada145445
Leake141844
Holmes134461
Covington130040
Tippah130030
George129525
Winston128726
Hancock127641
Wayne123024
Attala122834
Marion121447
Tishomingo114043
Chickasaw110732
Newton110529
Tallahatchie99427
Clay96127
Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
Montgomery78426
Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
Yalobusha74228
Noxubee73317
Perry68726
Tunica63019
Greene62422
Jefferson Davis59617
Claiborne59216
Amite57615
Humphreys55219
Quitman5107
Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
Etowah677467
Calhoun6695121
Marshall665757
Houston548239
DeKalb504738
Cullman472043
St. Clair451857
Limestone447546
Lauderdale436054
Elmore427564
Walker3818111
Talladega374457
Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
Autauga287342
Franklin259734
Coffee254115
Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
Conecuh72414
Lamar7138
Bullock70919
Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
Greene44218
Choctaw43519
Coosa3724
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