There’s no question Ryan Shazier’s injury, one that temporarily left him paralyzed, was the most awful news of the 2017 NFL season. And still, it’s unclear if Shazier will ever play football again. But out of all of that darkness, Shazier is using his story for good. In a broad sense, an inspiration to the city, but also individually.
Laurel High School player Hayden Hamilton suffered a severe neck and spine injury, fracturing his vertebrae, Friday night against Albert Gallatin. Rushed to Children’s Hospital, he underwent surgery for 9 hours. According to this KDKA report, Hamilton only has movement above his waist.
Shazier, sadly in that situation in November, apparently called Hamilton and his family to encourage him and offer his thoughts and prayers. That comes via a Facebook post from WTAE’s Janelle Hall, who posted this update a short time ago.
In part, it reads: “[Shazier] told me everything that the doctors told him,” said Hamilton. “The doctors said just keep pushing and never give up, so that’s what I’m going to do. That was an important phone call. It was pretty inspirational.”
Shazier is proof of remarkable progress, now able to walk without the assistance of his cane and his NFL dreams still alive. According to Hall’s post, Hamilton says his goal is to be able to walk again. Shazier’s words offered even more hope and motivation in achieving that.
A GoFundMe for Hamilton and his family has been set up, raising nearly $40,000 in just a matter of days. Click the link here if you would like to make a donation.