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Paralyzed football player using injury to touch thousands of lives

“This is not something that happened to me,” Nnaka says. “This happened for me, for others. And so if I hold back, I can’t help another person.” (KTUL)

He’s here, at the gym, every day, but his reps are more miracle than muscle.

“I do believe that God is with me,” says Emeka Nnaka.

Football was his passion.

“That was going to be the avenue in which my life blew up,” Nnaka says. “I love people and I love athletics. And in a game in Arkansas in 2009, in a play I’ve made a hundred times, and make a tackle and crack.”

Nnaka says he saw getting out of the hospital as the light at the end of the tunnel.

“It is the moment I got out of the hospital, I realized that light at the end of the tunnel is a train," he said. "And it’s that realization that, 'Oh, this is life.'”

Now it’s a life on wheels and he’s a rolling inspiration.

“To me, it’s just a major milestone and a success story that, frankly, I think everybody in the country should hear,” says Tracy Kennedy.

She has a front row seat.

“You see him all over town,” Kennedy says. “I’ve seen him at First Friday cruising down Guthrie Green with a whole ton of people. He’s at every event in town. He’s an ambassador for our community and he’s a survivor in the best possible way.”

Nnaka has a permanent smile.

“God uses broken people like you and me,” he says, reciting one of his favorite quotes. “To help fix broken people like you and me.”

All the smiles are despite Nnaka's devastating injury.

“A lot of people don’t really face those hard answers,” he says. “So what I decided to do is face those hard questions and get those hard answers and start making something of it.”

Nnaka's is a deep-seated passion.

“This is not something that happened to me,” he says. “This happened for me, for others. And so if I hold back, I can’t help another person.”

Nnaka speaks to anyone who will listen, from troubled kids to people who suffered similar injuries. If you’d like to contact him, you can check out his website.

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