Football Player with Spinal Cord Injury Opening Neurological Recovery House

Updated: 08/14/2014 8:19 AM
Created: 08/13/2014 11:12 PM
By: Meghan Reistad

(ABC 6 News) -- It took one tackle to change Chris Norton’s life.

“October 16, 2010, I was hurt playing in a football game for Luther College. I had a severe break in my C3-C4 vertebrae and I was given close to a 3 percent chance of ever moving anything below my neck,” said Norton.

Instead, Norton has turned a percentage into possibilities.

 “I’m getting better one inch at a time and just keep going,” said Norton.

Now, after getting help in Rochester, he is helping others to do the same.

 “I can’t show it, but I’m so thrilled. It’s unbelievable what a place like this can do for people going through such traumatic times,” said Norton.

He is currently on the planning board for the Neurological Recovery House, a hospitality home for people with neurological disorders.

“People can stay… and it can be accessible and within reasonable distance from the hospital, itself, is a huge benefit as you’re going through such a traumatic tough time,” said Norton.

Organizers hope to open the home, that is in high demand, this fall.

“Board members for the Neurological House Foundation, a lot of them work at Mayo Clinic and saw a huge need,” said Norton.

“We want them to have a community that they can come to, a home like feeling,” said Alex Peterson from the Neurological Recovery House.

The goal is to open for family members on September 8th, but there is still work to be done.

Rugs, mats, toilet paper, just little things you don’t really think about, really, but those are the things that we really need,” said Peterson.

The road has not been easy, but a positive attitude proves changes can be made, one step at a time.

“Three and a half years later, getting better, getting stronger with the goal to walk across the stage to accept my diploma in the May of 2015,” said Norton.

A Neurology Recovery House fundraising event is planned for August 23rd at the Rochester International Event Center.

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