Metro teen paralyzed in ATV crash still has eyes on the future, determined to walk again

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EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, Mo. -- A high school student from the metro faces a long road to recovery. Greg Murphy, 15, is still in the hospital, less than two weeks after a bad ATV crash left him paralyzed from the chest down.

It was just another rowdy ride on the all-terrain vehicle, the kind Murphy says he’s taken hundreds of times. That was back on February 15th, and the crash the sophomore from Excelsior Springs High School took left him with two broken bones in his back and unable to walk.

Murphy and his friends were playing around on their four-wheelers that day, and the small ditch in his path turned into a big problem. When he came to after being thrown from his rig, Murphy says he was surrounded by people using their cell phones to call for help.

“I knew the ditch was there, but I wasn't thinking,” Murphy told FOX 4 News, during a physical therapy session in Kansas City. “I hit the ditch too fast, and the four-wheeler hit the front of the ditch and it kept rolling.”

Since the crash, Murphy has undergone surgery to repair a broken back, and spent hours in physical therapy. He's paralyzed from the chest down, and is expected to be a patient at Children’s Mercy Hospital for eight weeks in all.

“When I'm in bed, and I'm trying to move and I can't move, that's what really makes me feel weird,” Murphy said.

“You plan for your retirement, and putting that money back,” Jim Murphy, Greg’s father, said. “But you don't have the money for this, and it will be a major expense. We'll get through it somehow.”

The Murphys home city, Excelsior Springs, is marshaling the support for Greg. Lynne Hyatt owns two businesses in Clay County, including Hyatt Custom Cycle and Graphics, a shop that prints T-shirts. She's created a series of Murphy Strong shirts, which include Greg's football number 61, with proceeds from sales designated to help the Murphys through this challenge.

“It could be as simple as something like needing food or they need gas money or whatever,” Hyatt said. “It's just nice to know the money's there.”

“I guess I have to work through it. That's all I can do,” Greg Murphy said.

Greg says he intends to go to college after high school and study dentistry. He realizes there's no guarantee he'll be able to walk. However, he tells FOX 4 he'll spend the rest of his life trying to make it happen.

People interested in making contributions to the Murphy family can give via two means:

Send contributions via mail to:

Kearney First Christian Church

2151 S. Jefferson Street

Kearney, MO 64050

Contributions may also be made via:

Bank Midwest

201 N. Jesse James Rd.

Excelsior Springs, MO 64024

(816) 630-0035

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