A Georgetown University student who was left paralyzed after an accident during a football game walked across the graduation stage for the first time in two-and-a-half years on Saturday.
Linebacker Ty Williams suffered a spinal injury in his first game as a college junior in September 2015 and was left paralyzed.
Since then, he has spent years in rehab to regain the use of his muscles – hard work that came to good use as he moved across the graduation stage, not sitting in a wheelchair, but on his own two feet.
Georgetown shared the tearjerking moment to their social media channels, calling it ‘a moment we won’t forget’.
Georgetown University student Ty Williams became partially paralysed after a football accident in September 2015
He has been reliant on a wheelchair ever since, but years of rehab and physio allowed him to stand on Saturday as he received his degree in government
A woman helped Ty stand and supported him as he moved across the stage
Ty was playing his first game as a Junior at an away game against St Francis when an awkward tackle left him with five broken bones in his neck and back
A woman is seen helping Ty get out of his wheelchair and holding him by the back as he makes it towards University President John DeGioia.
The pair embraced as Mr DeGioia handed the student his degree in government.
Ty was playing his first game as a junior against St Francis in Pennsylvania, when an awkward tackle broke five bones in his neck and vertebrae, university paper The Hoya reported.
Friend Nick Alfieri said he spent nine hours after the hit in surgery in an emotional post on Facebook soon after the life-changing accident.
‘He is currently on the road to recovery to be able to walk again,’ Mr Alfieri wrote.
‘Ty is not only a physically powerful person, but an emotionally and mentally [powerful] one as well. I know he will achieve that goal.’
The university rallied around their beloved linebacker and one friend called him a ‘powerful person’, physically and emotionally
A year on from the fateful tackle, Ty addressed family and friends through his GoFundMe account, showing off the strong attitude that would see him rise to his feet 18 months later.
‘[It’s] certainly not the way I envisioned my “senior” season opener when I committed back in 2013,’ he said.
‘It’s been the hardest year of my life, but it’s all been worth the fight. Today’s September 5th and last year’s September 5th are two completely different days.
‘It was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel this time last year, but today I’m so excited to keep working hard and keep getting better because I know it’s just a matter of time until this is just another day in my life.’
After he took his emotional but short journey across the stage, Ty was embraced by University President John DeGioia
A year after the accident, Ty told his supporters: ‘I’m so excited to keep working hard and keep getting better because I know it’s just a matter of time until this is just another day in my life’