Why Governor Greg Abbott is in a wheelchair.
On a summer day in July 1984, Governor Greg Abbott, a 26-year-old law school graduate, decided to take a break from studying for his bar exam and went for a run in the west Houston area, as he had done many times before. While jogging, a large oak tree standing in his path cracked and fell on Governor Abbott’s back, leaving him permanently paralyzed from the waist down.
After he was rushed to the hospital, doctors found him with several shattered vertebrae embedded in his spinal cord, broken ribs, and damage to vital organs.
While he lay in a hospital bed, gasping in incomprehensible pain, doctors worked to repair his vertebrae. Two steel rods were inserted into his spine, which would remain there for the rest of his life. During the agonizing process of recovery, Governor Abbott recalled lessons he had learned throughout his life, especially the lesson of perseverance.