SUNRISE, Fla. - A 34-year-old man took his first steps Wednesday morning after a car crash last year left him paralyzed from the waist down.
Jerrod Kerr told Local 10 News that he knew he would defy the odds.
"It's the death of one thing and the beginning of something else, and learning how to do everything again," Kerr said.
The engineer was involved in a car crash in Texas in June 2014. He was ejected from his car and severed his spinal cord.
"The doctors came out and said there was no hope, and his mother said, 'There's always hope,'" Kerr's father, John, said.
"I have a niece who just started to walk. She beat me," Kerr joked.
Several surgeries and states later, Kerr is taking his first steps using the ReWalk robotics system at HealthSouth Sunrise Rehabilitation Hospital -- a moment that's served as constant motivation in his recovery.
"Laying in bed thinking about ... a device that has the ability to move my legs is obviously exhilarating," Kerr said.
His positive energy is infectious and it was definitely an emotional moment for those who have been with him throughout his recovery.
His therapists told Local 10 News that it would be at least an hour before Kerr could even attempt his first steps Wednesday morning. But just 25 minutes in, he already shattered barriers.
"I thought he was taking a couple steps. I had no idea he was actually going to walk, much less out the door," Kerr's mother, Diane, said.
Kerr's spirit has helped tremendously in his recovery. Now he hopes he can continue to share his story of tragedy to triumph so he can help others who are fighting the same battle.
"Hopefully this is the beginning of something that's going to last for a long time," Kerr said. "Not just for me (but) for anyone who has to go through a spinal cord injury."
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