For Chris Norton, who suffered from a severe spinal injury in 2010 that left him paralyzed, walking across the stage to accept his diploma was only a dream.
This past weekend, Norton did just that and more — he even got engaged, according to the Huffington Post.
So thankful that she said YES pic.twitter.com/DPsxoDPtPF
— Chris Norton (@chrisnorton16) May 24, 2015
Norton, who had a 3 percent chance of ever regaining movement after his accident, was able to walk across the stage to accept his diploma from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa — all with his new fiancé Emily by his side.
The crowd roared as Norton walked across the stage and received his diploma in business management.
“I really want to show everyone how far I’ve come and just that you can set big goals for yourself and you’ve just got to go out there and make it happen,” Norton said in the video.
The former football player had made that his own personal goal over a year ago and fought to regain his mobility ever since.
Less than 46 days from graduation… On my walking grind today #WalkingWednesday
— Chris Norton (@chrisnorton16) April 8, 2015
In the YouTube video, Norton said he is more thankful and appreciative now than he was before his injury.
“You realize how precious even the slightest movement is and that independence you can get and the people around you,” he said.
Norton has even began an organization called SCI CAN, dedicated to providing neuromuscular deficiency patients with proper equipment.
Even though Norton accomplished a major milestone, he said he is not through yet.
“I want to continue and improve my walking, my therapy, my independence,” he said. “That will always be a goal of mine.”