Former CBC football player inspires after spinal cord injury

Drew Hessler, a former CBC standout football player, was entering his junior year in high school when he went on a family vacation and his life changed forever.

Hessler fell off a 4th story balcony, broke his neck, and was paralyzed from the chest down.  Doctors told Drew he would never have function again.

"I don't know why but from the beginning, I never accepted that," says Hessler.

After a series of tests, Doctors said his C5 injury was not a complete sever. Hessler regained movement in his legs and was told he could regain some function - but no one expected him to recover as much as he did.

Hessler goes to therapy daily and also works out at Wild Horse Fitness in Ballwin with his trainer, Mike Tallis.

"When we first started, there was no way we could even think about having him take stairs," says Tallis. "Now, he is just walking without crutches."

Hessler is now pressing 150 pounds. He has also completed a 5K on crutches. And now he has words of inspiration for everyone.

"Whatever odds you've got, you just got to push through it and try your best," says Hessler.

Drew's dream is to work in the field of giving back to others who have spinal cord injuries. You can follow Drew's journey on Instagram @sayyestohess and his hashtag #KeepDoubtingMe

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