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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: 295295

Reported Deaths: 6724
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19672230
Hinds18799386
Harrison16710278
Rankin12685264
Jackson12592226
Lee9687160
Madison9457199
Jones7962146
Forrest7208136
Lauderdale6833226
Lowndes6022137
Lamar588080
Lafayette5733113
Washington5218130
Bolivar4609123
Oktibbeha441393
Panola430394
Pearl River4167130
Warren4129114
Pontotoc408869
Marshall403192
Monroe3989126
Union395374
Neshoba3807168
Lincoln3541102
Hancock347374
Leflore3375118
Sunflower318386
Tate302474
Pike300195
Scott293870
Alcorn291861
Itawamba289975
Yazoo289262
Tippah278765
Copiah277857
Coahoma277568
Simpson274878
Prentiss269758
Wayne253841
Marion252678
Leake252471
Covington248879
Grenada247377
Adams234377
George231745
Newton229652
Winston221675
Jasper213445
Tishomingo212365
Attala206569
Chickasaw201151
Holmes182270
Clay179150
Stone172429
Tallahatchie170539
Clarke169371
Calhoun157828
Smith152731
Yalobusha144836
Greene127633
Walthall124140
Noxubee122829
Montgomery122438
Perry121634
Lawrence120321
Carroll118225
Amite111533
Webster110630
Jefferson Davis101731
Tunica99023
Claiborne98429
Benton93324
Humphreys92827
Kemper90223
Quitman77114
Franklin76119
Choctaw69516
Jefferson62527
Wilkinson62426
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 493769

Reported Deaths: 9931
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson710731374
Mobile36139727
Madison32425455
Tuscaloosa24184410
Montgomery22586500
Shelby21968215
Baldwin19758283
Lee14967153
Morgan13667251
Calhoun13300286
Etowah13184319
Marshall11262209
Houston10104261
Elmore9385185
Limestone9363134
Cullman8897181
St. Clair8827223
Lauderdale8607211
DeKalb8459175
Talladega7523163
Walker6524255
Jackson6495102
Autauga627091
Blount6102127
Colbert6004118
Coffee5249102
Dale4642107
Russell404930
Franklin399177
Covington3960106
Chilton3876100
Escambia377672
Tallapoosa3588142
Clarke343650
Chambers3413110
Dallas3403141
Pike293472
Lawrence283484
Marion281995
Winston246867
Bibb245060
Geneva239970
Marengo236455
Pickens224654
Barbour211651
Hale210568
Fayette200756
Butler196866
Henry182441
Cherokee177038
Monroe166139
Randolph163740
Washington156535
Crenshaw144854
Clay144454
Macon142043
Cleburne137839
Lamar132833
Lowndes131151
Wilcox121825
Bullock116936
Conecuh106724
Perry105627
Sumter98531
Coosa88923
Greene88232
Choctaw55123
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