Texas Gov. Greg Abbott delivered a powerful message on Sunday night, speaking about the tragic accident 35 years ago that left him paralyzed and feeling hopeless.
Abbott shared his experience to inspire and implore his followers to “never give up” no matter what challenges they face in life.
“On this day 35 years ago, my back was broken and I was paralyzed forever,” he said in a video posted to Twitter. “My life seemed crushed. Little did I know that I would go on to become governor of the greatest state in America.”
Abbott said his experience proved that anything is possible in Texas, but he also made a broader proclamation that will encourage anyone facing an uphill battle in life.
“Never let challenges stop you from achieving your dreams,” he said. “Never give up.”
Abbott has openly discussed the accident that left him in a wheelchair.
He was out running in July of 1984 when a large oak tree cracked and fell on his back — a shocking incident that left him with severe and life-altering injuries. His official website has more:
“After being rushed to the hospital, doctors discovered several crushed vertebrae splintering into his spinal cord, broken ribs, and damage to vital organs.
As he lay in a hospital bed, throttled with incomprehensible pain, doctors worked to piece his vertebrae back together. They inserted two steel rods near his spine, which will remain there for the rest of his life. During his harrowing recovery process, Governor Abbott was reminded of lessons he’d learned all his life, especially the lesson of perseverance.”
Despite these challenges, Abbott went on to find success in politics and is currently the 48th governor of Texas. It truly is a story of “triumph over tragedy.”