Injury: T10 Spinal Cord Injury
Rudy Vasquez attended the Dallas Mavericks opening game on October 19th, 2017 when his life changed drastically. After an evening at the game followed by dinner, Rudy and a friend were on their way home when the classic car they were driving stalled out in the middle of the highway. As they were trying to restart the car, they were rear ended by another car going around 70mph. Rudy was knocked unconscious and finally awoke to the car mangled and on fire. He quickly tried to get out but realized that he could not move his lower half.
Luckily police cars showed up soon after to pull him out to safety until the paramedics arrived. Rudy had broken his back so terribly that his T10 vertebrae were on the verge of collapsing. Rudy was lucky to be alive. His prognosis was that he would never walk again and that he would be lucky to even sit up. Rudy decided right then he would prove that diagnosis wrong and that he would get up and move.
An avid soccer player and fan, Rudy had an active lifestyle. Growing up in Dallas, he played soccer throughout his youth traveling to France, England, and Portugal to play and then to college where he played for SMU. This love of soccer has driven Rudy to take his rehab very seriously to stand up and walk to kick a soccer ball again. Throughout this strenuous rehab, Rudy has been able to stand up and move with the use of a walker.
Rudy hopes to continue to grow stronger through attending ATF’s class 14 in order to overcome the original prognosis. In the year since his accident Rudy’s strength has grown by leaps and bounds and he looks forward to seeing how far he can go.