Quadriplegic stands up from wheelchair for first time in 1,220 days: ‘An inspiration’

Some goals take exactly 1,220 days to achieve. But maybe that’s what makes the victory all the sweeter. 

Robert Paylor is a quadriplegic determined to walk again. On Labor Day, he stood up from his wheelchair for the first time.

In 2017, the UC Berkley student and rugby player suffered a catastrophic neck injury during America’s National Championship final. 

The accident happened when a player grabbed him around the neck while another lunged at his legs. 

“I started going down and you know, since my head is down into my chest, once I hit the ground my face just slammed against my chest,” he told Rugby World. “I felt this crunch in my neck. And then it was just poof everywhere on my body below my neck, I could not feel it. I could not move it.” 

But Paylor never stopped making progress. In 2018, he took his first steps using only a walker. In March 2020, he stood up into his walker for the first time. Then September 8 marked another first. 

“I stood up out of my wheelchair on my own for the first time today! It took me 1,220 days to achieve this goal and it was worth every second. No better way to celebrate Labor Day!” Paylor wrote on Twitter

The athlete shared the footage of the huge milestone. Paylor uses the armrest of his wheelchair to push himself up and transition to his walker. It takes a few seconds, but he is able to confidently stand. 

The video received 2.3 million views on Twitter. 

“Most people will never understand how much we take these movements for granted. You, sir, are an inspiration and a tough dude,” one user wrote

“Way to go, man! I’m disabled, too. I know how much each minute accomplishment means. Good job,” another said

“I have a brother who’s a quadriplegic and this just amazing! What a fantastic accomplishment! Outstanding,” someone added

If you liked this story, check out In The Know’s article on the 21-year-old transgender model who’s speaking out about his deafness.

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