How Chris Norton Turned Tragedy into Triumph

Apr 22, 2021

Reading time: 2 Minutes

Have you ever been knocked down? Maybe even hit hard while you were already down? If so, this story is for you.

Difficult times and tragedy can steal our hope if we let it, but imagine what could happen if we refuse to give up or give in to despair? In a split second, Chris Norton’s life was changed forever. He went from being a college athlete to being told he would never be able to move again, but thankfully that wasn’t the end of his story.


What Happened to Chris 

As an 18-year-old freshman athlete at Luther College, Chris suffered a terrible spinal cord injury while playing in a football game. He saw an opening for a tackle but mistimed his jump by a split second. Instead of being in front of the ball, he collided with the player carrying the ball.


After the collision, Chris immediately lost all feeling and movement from his neck down. He was rushed by helicopter to a nearby hospital where doctors gave him a 3% chance to ever move again, but Chris was determined to defy the odds.


How Chris and Emily Met 

Three years after his injury, Chris met Emily and everything changed. It was love at first sight. Chris had already defied the odds by regaining movement in his body, but now he had another goal in mind. He decided he was going to walk across the stage at his college graduation, and Emily was determined to stand by his side to help him achieve his goal.PT Chris

How Chris Found the Power to Stand 

After years of physical therapy and training, and with help from his fiancé, Emily, Chris successfully walked across the stage at his graduation in 2015. The video of Chris walking to get his diploma touched hearts worldwide and received over 300 million views.

Chris Graduation

After graduation, Chris and Emily set a new ambitious goal: To walk 7 yards side-by-side down their wedding aisle. The 7 yards represent the 7th anniversary of his injury. Wedding

How Chris and Emily Turn Tragedy into Triumph 

Chris and Emily are happily married and have a passion for providing a safe, loving home to children in need. Since their wedding in 2018, they have adopted five amazing girls and have fostered a total of eighteen children. Chris Emily Wedding

Why Medi-Share is Proud to Stand with Chris

“Perseverance isn’t about the physical act of standing… it’s about attitude and the ability to shape yourself in the face of adversity.” -Chris Norton


Medi-Share is proud to stand with Chris because his story inspires us to believe and persevere, despite the obstacles that we face. After a difficult year, we all need to be reminded that hope is never lost and with God all things are possible.


"7 Yards" is now available on Netflix. You can learn more about the film here.


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