Samar Lemons strong and determined to walk months after paralyzing football game collision

Henrico County

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — It has been six months since Samar Lemons, a Henrico High School football player, was paralyzed by a serious collision during a game.

Now, he is in physical therapy — trying everything he can to get feeling back in his arms and legs.

After the incident on March 12, Lemons was in the hospital for four months and diagnosed as a complete quadriplegic. He has been bound to a wheelchair ever since.

Initially, doctors told his family there was a 1% chance he’d walk again, but he and his family are determined to overcome the odds with unshakable faith.

“The first thing I had gone through was depression. I ain’t even gonna lie,” Lemons said. “Every day, it is like ‘man, I can’t walk. I can’t go out and do what I wanna do. All I can do is sit in the house and stare at the TV.”

The collision happened a few months before high school graduation. In place of walking across a stage, he was able to send a video in expressing his appreciation to those who reached out.

Now, he is lifting his head up with the help of his family and Bodies and Beyond Fitness Center for physical therapy.

“I’m not ready to live in darkness with the light shining every day,” he said. “No, I can’t do that. I already can’t walk. What am I gonna be? Paralyzed and miserable? No. I am going to be paralyzed and happy.”

The family has faced hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills since the injury, but Lemons has been working hard to get any movement he can since his discharge from the hospital. Right now, his goal is to get feeling back in his right arm then work on his core.

His family continues to have unwavering positivity, and Lemons’ eyes are set on supporting his team on the sidelines again.

“I can’t wait to go to a game,” he said. “I might just be the chainman. Just hook it onto the back of the wheelchair.”

And if you ask him what his future holds, he will tell you.

“Oh yeah, I’m gonna walk. I don’t care. I’m gonna walk. It’s gonna happen. Watch,” he said.

When people ask him how he is smiling through all of the pain, Lemons simply tells them, “life goes on.”

The family only had to pay $5,000 for a new van to help transport Lemons, they saved over $45,000.
Samar before the injury on March 12, 2021.
Samar during physical therapy on Sept. 1, 2021. (Photo: Tyler Thrasher/WRIC)
Samar during physical therapy on Sept. 1, 2021. (Photo: Tyler Thrasher/WRIC)
Samar during physical therapy on Sept. 1, 2021. (Photo: Tyler Thrasher/WRIC)
Samar during physical therapy on Sept. 1, 2021. (Photo: Tyler Thrasher/WRIC)

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