Reeve Live Q&A Recap: 7 Yards: The Chris Norton Story

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on June 11, 2021 # Events

On May 6, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation presented a free, live screening of the new documentary 7 Yards: The Chris Norton Story. After the screening, the star of the documentary, Chris Norton, hosted a live Q&A with the audience.7 Yards documentary image

7 Yards is a feature-length documentary that explores the resilience and perspective of Chris Norton. In October 2010, at age 18, Chris sustained a debilitating spinal cord injury during a college football game. Doctors gave him just a 3 percent chance to ever move again. But he defied that diagnosis.

During the Q&A, the viewers asked Chris important questions. Here are some of the highlights.

Looking back on your recovery and come back journey. Is there anything that you would have done differently?

"While I made a lot of mistakes and had a lot of like false thinking, I'm glad I did. I learned from what feels like some of the best lessons of my life. What I've learned makes me, me. While some of those are hard lessons learned, I feel like I'd be a different person if I did not go through that journey. All of the ups and downs helped shape me into who I am today, and I wouldn't change anything."

How did nursing influence your recovery?

“Nursing was a huge part, so there's no question about its influence on my recovery. It's easy to get in a doom and gloom state of mind. But when you have a nurse come in with all the joy in the world, it just rubs off on you. I felt that joy, and it created this energy in the room. I appreciate that kind of positive energy. Many nurses would just come in with this spark. They pass that on to you. They kept my spirits up early on. They were fun to be around. It was extremely beneficial to my recovery.”

In what ways do you think that your friends and family supported you after your injury?

“The biggest thing with my buddies was that they just jumped in to help and be there for me. You see who your true friends are. They asked what I needed help with and were just there. I always felt their presence. They were willing to lend me a hand when I needed it and still do.”

“Now there's a lot of things I want to do on my own. Sometimes I'm kind of stubborn with being independent, and I like to try to figure things out on my own. But there are times when it is challenging. So, I need help with certain things, and they'll be there and do it happily, which means a lot to me.”

After years of physical therapy and training, Chris's story went viral in 2015 when he successfully walked across the college graduation stage with the help of his fiancée Emily. Video of Chris walking to get his diploma touched the world and has received over 300 million views. Soon after, Chris and Emily set an ambitious new goal: walk seven yards side-by-side down their wedding aisle. The film features powerful interviews, emotional reenactments and footage from their 2018 wedding. It's the story of Chris and his journey from college athlete to a medical miracle to viral inspiration and now an adoptive father.

7 Yards is featured on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Apple TV.

You can read more about Chris and his story in his most recent blog: Susceptible to Miracles

Photo Credit: #7YardsFilm "7 YARDS by Fotolanthropy"

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