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Texas Longhorn Legend Helps Paralyzed Teenager

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 10:47 PM CDT


Ben Waker is a 15 year old freshman who recently came to Austin. He had been living in Ohio, a state almost as crazy about football as we are down in Texas. Growing up near Dayton, Ben actually started playing in the third grade. Now, football is not what brought him to the Lone Star State, but a football player is helping him get home.

At an early age, Ben Waker fell fast for the fast lane.

"I've wanted to drive since I was eight years old," recalled Ben.

But 15 months before his 16th birthday, the kid who dreamed of being behind the wheel had his life turn down a much different road.

"I stood up and then the board just turned on me," said Ben. "I was face down in the water. I was trying to paddle to get up and breathe but I couldn't."

A surfing accident broke Ben's 6th and 7th vertebrae. He had no feeling and no movement. He was 14 years old and paralyzed.

"He knew we were there," said Patty Waker, Ben's mother. "We reassured him we would do whatever it takes, however long it takes to get him better."

There's nothing stronger than a mother's love. Everything is bigger in Texas. Bigger and stronger. That sure sounds like a football player doesn't it?

Doug English, the legendary Longhorns defensive end and college football Hall of Famer has tackled a new career. As the president of the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation, English gives patients with spinal cord injuries an option for therapy and recovery that is virtually unparalleled in the United States. He personally invited the Wakers to Austin.

"The absolute greatest gift anyone could ever give you is to offer to help your child," said Patty. "We are forever grateful."

There's a place for Ben to go to get better and to get everything back he can get," said English. "That's a success story."

Before coming to Austin in January, Ben could not lift his arm above his head. But six hours a day, five days a week at the Health South Rehabilitation Hospital has Waker nearly fully independent. And even though he doesn't have total feeling back, Ben is not feeling sorry for himself.

"I have bad moments but I never have a bad day," said Ben. "It could always be worse, that's what I keep thinking to myself."

They're still not sure if Ben will be behind the wheel for his 16th birthday or at any time for that matter. But even if he never puts a car in gear, Waker has already shown us a thing or two about drive - even if it's down a road he never could have mapped.

"As bad as our situation is, so many people have it so much worse," admitted Patty. "So you just try and stay positive and look for the good in things, work hard and try and make the best of it."

By Adam Winkler

Texas Longhorn Legend Helps Paralyzed Teenager


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Scores & Schedules

November 23, 2014 08:19 GMT

Latest scores; Upcoming games

Saturday's Scores

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Final Miami 99 Orlando 92

Final Phoenix 106 Indiana 83

Final New York 91 Philadelphia 83

Final Toronto 110 Cleveland 93

Final Houston 95 Dallas 92

Final Sacramento 113 Minnesota 101

Final San Antonio 99 Brooklyn 87

Final Washington 111 Milwaukee 100

Final New Orleans 106 Utah 94

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Final St. Louis 3 Ottawa 2

Final Buffalo 2 Washington 1

Final Philadelphia 4 Columbus 2

Final Toronto 4 Detroit 1

Final Tampa Bay 2 Minnesota 1

Final Montreal 2 Boston 0

Final N-Y Islanders 4 Pittsburgh 1

Final 2OT Nashville 3 Florida 2 (SO Nashville 1-0)

Final Dallas 5 Los Angeles 4

Final Colorado 4 Carolina 3

Final Chicago 7 Edmonton 1

Final 2OT Calgary 5 New Jersey 4 (SO Calgary 2-1)

Final 2OT Arizona 4 San Jose 3 (SO Arizona 1-0)

TOP-25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Final ( 1) Florida State 20 Boston College 17

Final ( 2) Alabama 48 Western Carolina 14

Final ( 3) Oregon 44 Colorado 10

Final ( 4) Mississippi State 51 Vanderbilt 0

Final ( 6) Baylor 49 Oklahoma State 28

Final ( 7) Ohio State 42 Indiana 27

Final Arkansas 30 ( 8) Mississippi 0

Final ( 9) Georgia 55 Charleston Southern 9

Final (10) Michigan State 45 Rutgers 3

Final (11) U-C-L-A 38 (24) Southern California 20

Final (13) Arizona State 52 Washington State 31

Final (14) Wisconsin 26 Iowa 24

Final (15) Arizona 42 (20) Utah 10

Final (16) Auburn 31 Samford 7

Final (18) Marshall 23 Alabama-Birmingham 18

Final (19) Missouri 29 Tennessee 21

Final Minnesota 28 (21) Nebraska 24

Final (22) Colorado State 58 New Mexico 20

Final (23) Oklahoma 44 Kansas 7

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Final ( 3) Wisconsin 78 Boise St. 54

Final ( 4) Duke 70 Stanford 59

Final ( 6) North Carolina 90 Davidson 72

Final (13) Gonzaga 109 St. Thomas Aquinas 55

Final OT Rhode Island 66 (21) Nebraska 62

Final (22) SMU 77 E. Washington 68

TOP-25 WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Final ( 9) Maryland 75 George Washington 65

Final (13) Kentucky 71 Cent. Michigan 68

Final (18) DePaul 84 S. Dakota St. 62

Final (18) Iowa 90 Dayton 83

Final (20) Oregon St. 92 Concordia (Ore.) 35

Final (21) Oklahoma St. 77 Missouri St. 36

Final (22) Rutgers 64 LSU 57

Final (23) Syracuse 77 Jacksonville 61

Sunday's Schedule - All Times EST

NFL

Green Bay at Minnesota, 1 p.m.

Cincinnati at Houston, 1 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Chicago, 1 p.m.

Cleveland at Atlanta, 1 p.m.

Tennessee at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.

Detroit at New England, 1 p.m.

Jacksonville at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.

N.Y. Jets at Buffalo, ppd., snow

Arizona at Seattle, 4:05 p.m.

St. Louis at San Diego, 4:05 p.m.

Washington at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m.

Miami at Denver, 4:25 p.m.

Dallas at N.Y. Giants, 8:30 p.m.

TOP 25 BASKETBALL

Men

No. 1 Kentucky vs. Montana State, 6 p.m.

No. 11 Wichita State vs. Newman, 3 p.m.

No. 17 UConn vs. West Virginia at San Juan, Puerto Rico, 6:30 p.m.

No. 18 Oklahoma vs. Northwestern State, 3 p.m.

No. 20 Ohio State vs. Sacred Heart, 7 p.m.

Women

No. 1 UConn vs. Creighton, 1 p.m.

No. 2 South Carolina vs. San Diego State, 2 p.m.

No. 3 Notre Dame vs. Holy Cross, 5 p.m.

No. 7 Duke vs. Marquette, 2 p.m.

No. 10 Texas at UCLA, 4 p.m.

No. 11 North Carolina at Oregon, 6 p.m.

No. 12 Louisville vs. Ball State, 2 p.m.

No. 14 California vs. Missouri at Honolulu, 9:30 p.m.

No. 15 Michigan State vs. IUPUI, 2 p.m.

No. 16 Nebraska vs. Utah, 2 p.m.

No. 24 Georgia at Georgia Tech, 2 p.m.

No. 24 Purdue vs. Toledo, 2 p.m.

NBA

L.A. Clippers at Memphis, 6 p.m.

Portland at Boston, 6 p.m.

Charlotte at Miami, 6 p.m.

Golden State at Oklahoma City, 7 p.m.

Denver at L.A. Lakers, 9:30 p.m.

NHL

St. Louis at Winnipeg, 4:30 p.m.

Montreal at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m.

Arizona at Anaheim, 8 p.m.

Chicago at Vancouver, 9:30 p.m.

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KEYE-TV Sports Team


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