Matthew Parks

Lincolnton, NC

East Carolina University

Pre Professional, Spring 2023

Matthew was an outstanding athlete and played many sports but football was different. He

thrived in the tough team atmosphere. He made varsity as a freshman after working hard all

summer in the weight room and on the field. He was a starter at safety in his sophomore season

and college teams were scouting him. Plans changed when on January 8, 2017 he was in a

sledding accident that resulted in a spinal cord injury and paralysis from the chest down.

Matthew spent three months in the hospital in Atlanta 240 miles away from home but his friends

traveled often to visit and support him. Matthew returned home from the hospital on a Saturday

and returned to school on the following Monday. His teachers and his friends were extremely

supportive in helping him keep up with school. When the next football season started he went to

every home football game and took team photos. Matthew credits his physical fitness honed

from football training and the support of those around him with his ability to rehabilitate his

body post accident