CORONA (CBSLA.com) — Santiago High School’s football team was in the playoffs when early in a game, Jordan Walker went down.
His mom, Ali, was in the stands.
“Kids are down tackled all the time, but there was a point where he didn’t get back up,” Ali Walker said.
Jordan broke his neck, paralyzing him from the shoulders down.
“At first, you don’t want to believe the injury itself,” his mother said. “You can’t believe its happening to you or your son.”
Jordan’s girlfriend was also in the stands.
Seven months later, Brooke Smith is still cheering him on.
“It’s just a great experience for me, and I found something I love to do,” Smith said.
At 18, Smith now wants to be a nurse.
She’s spent hours in the hospital with Jordan. They even celebrated Valentine’s Day there.
As CBS2/KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz learned, for the first time, we’re hearing from a Jordan who’s celebrating life.
“I’m living life now. I don’t want to let anything hold me back,” Jordan said.
The 17-year-old is moving forward in a custom wheelchair, leaving negativity in his dust.
“Just try to be myself and upbeat, because if I’m going to be sad about it, it’s not going to get me anywhere,” Jordan said.
Jordan and his mother have no regrets about him playing high school football.
“It’s a part of playing football, a part of doing anything, there’s always a risk in it,” Jordan said.
He’s working on retraining his nervous system and hoping to use his arms and legs again.
Until then, like their shirts say, the Walkers will be rolling with the homies.
“Don’t ever give up, always have faith, and hope and strive for more,” Jordan said.
A golf ball drop fundraiser for Jordan and his family is planned for Friday at Dos Lagos Golf Course in Corona. Each ball costs $100, with a prize of $25,ooo for the winning ball. More information on the ball drop and on how to help the family is available here (PDF).