Injured football player shares motivational story with students

Former NFL player Kevin Everett shared the story of his recovery from an accident

Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett shared the story of his recovery from a freak injury with guests at Monroe County Community College. Everett, who was twenty-five years old at the time of the impact, suffered a spinal cord injury when breaking the third and fourth vertebrae in his neck in a collision while covering a kickoff, which immediately led to paralyzation of his body from the neck down.


Everett was the typical NFL player, making a living playing the game he loved. Everett was a starting tight end for the Buffalo Bills who also spotlighted on kickoff coverage, which is where his injury occurred, on September ninth, 2007. Everett sprinted down and tackled Dominik Hixon, and immediately fell down limp. He was paralyzed instantly on contact.


Now, four years after the hit that changed his life, Everett shared his story with those at Monroe County Community College, and talked with them about his injury, his faith, and more.


Everett initially shared his life story, going through trials such as having an English teacher fail him in his final semester of high school, forcing him to go to a junior college instead of his dream school for Miami, along with the shredding of knee ligaments his rookie season in Buffalo.


When he got to the time of his injury, Everett's demeanor changed. Everett seemed to hold back emotions at times, even after having told his story countless times.


After making the tackle and while laying on the field immobile, Everett talked with the trainers and doctors all around him, who were poking and touching all parts of his body.


"I told them I couldn't feel anything," Everett stated. I tried to give my teammates a thumbs-up, but I knew I couldn't. But God told me everything was going to be all


Everett is a man who is strong of faith in God.

 "My faith carried me through many difficult


Everett talked about God comforting him and helping him relax while the EMTs worked on him on the field. Everett also talked about the Devil trying to influence him in his time of weakness, putting thoughts into his head that had him wishing for everything to end.


While Everett rode in the ambulance, doctors on board injected him with a cold saline solution, which stopped the swelling from expanding. The doctors on board had never used the saline injection before, as they had just learned the technique a few weeks prior at a seminar at the Bill's home stadium.


Doctors gave Everett the grim news that in all likelihood, he would never walk again.


But, Everett proved doctors worldwide wrong, and regained the ability to walk. Everett made a full recovery, although his NFL career was over.


Although he recovered full bodily control, Everett has constant pain.


"I suffer pain 24/7. I'll be on medication the rest of my life to control spasms. I feel pain from my neck to my toes; you have to learn to deal with it," he said.


Later in the year of his injury, Everett was able to walk onto the Bills' field before a late-season game, to the roar of the home crowd. Everett called this one of the greatest triumphs of his life.


Everett was also awarded the Jimmy V Award for defeating overwhelming odds. The award is named for former North Carolina State basketball coach Jim Valvano, who died of cancer. Aside from basketball, Valvano is known for the foundation named after him, the Jimmy V Foundation, and also for his most famous line, "Don't give up. Don't ever give up."


Currently, Everett runs the Kevin Everett Foundation, which helps provide lower income families with medical supplies, such as wheelchairs, along with helping to cover medical costs.


Everett also has a book, "Standing Tall, the Kevin Everett Story."