October 18, 2021

Young Man Paralyzed since 2009 Was Told He Would Never Walk, but Does So at His Graduation

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A young man who was left paralyzed during football practice at school shocked the world when he took his very first steps after 12 years. Surprisingly enough, he even walked to his graduation ceremony using wearable technology. 

There are no limits to what a person can do, provided they make use of their consistent efforts and determination. Regardless of the obstacles and roadblocks, even the most difficult of things become easy when one refuses to give up. 

Corey Borner from Desoto, Texas, has shown the world that anything can be accomplished with consistency, hard work, and unwavering faith in one's strength and abilities. 


Corey Borner pictured walking across the stage at his graduation ceremony. | Photo:


For 12 years, Borner has been in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down in the wake of a horrific injury sustained during spring football practice at DeSoto High School in 2009. Talking about the gruesome experience, he shared: 


“They [the doctors] said there was barely a chance for me to walk because my spinal cord was damaged so badly. But I was ready to walk. I told myself that I would be out of this chair in no time.”

Following his spinal injury, Borner's life came to an unexpected halt. Not only was his sports career over, but he now had to use a wheelchair to move around. While he was initially hard-hit, he decided to embrace this challenge head-on. 



Borner expressed he began believing in his mind that he would walk again. Sadly, he was surrounded by many people who always told him otherwise. Regardless, the support of his loved ones kept him going. The 28-year-old also expressed:

"You just have to take the negative and turn it into a positive. What are you going to do to make your situation better?"  

The young man revealed he began looking for moments of tranquil respite and often spent some "alone time" under his favorite tree outside his home in DeSoto. Such activities helped him gain a better perspective, pushing him to take his first steps. 




Borner's life changed when his doctor at the Baylor Scott & White Health Insitute for Rehabilitation told him about an exoskeleton suit, a wearable technology that could help him walk again. Borner recalled what his mom had told him:

“My mom was like, ‘Stay strong and keep the faith. Just believe you’ll be able to get in it.'" 

On June 8, 2021, Borner wore the exoskeleton suit for the first time, taking his initial steps. Soon afterward, the news of Borner walking with the exoskeleton suit began making rounds on local media, especially after he completed his 826 steps.




At the time, Borner was studying Communications Technology at UNT Dallas, and they asked if he wanted to attend his graduation walking across the stage. He happily agreed and gave his family a surprise.  When his mom saw him walking, she expressed: 

“It’s just a dream come true. I haven’t seen him take a step in 12 years.”

The young college graduate shared a Tweet of him walking on his graduation on August 15, 2021, which has garnered over 10,000 likes and several comments from netizens to date. 



Despite his dreary situation, Borner has gone to great lengths to give back to his community. He spends a great deal of his time delivering motivational speeches and organizing football camps for kids. 

To celebrate Borner's phenomenal journey, the City of DeSoto has proclaimed September 7 as "Corey Borner Day." Clearly, Borner's inspiring story of survival and recovery deserves to be highlighted, appreciated, and shared as much as possible. 


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