A RUGBY league star paralysed in a horrific on-pitch tackle is learning to walk again for his wedding.
Alex McKinnon’s promising career was tragically cut short in March 2014 when he suffered a severe spinal injury.
The young Australian suffered two fractured vertebrae and damaged his spinal cord from a dangerous tackle playing for Newcastle Knights in Melbourne.
The injury left him a quadriplegic, unable to use all four limbs, and facing the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
However, three years after the life-changing incident, McKinnon, 25, is taking remarkable strides towards walking again, just weeks away from his wedding to fiancée Teigan Power.
Teigan posted an inspirational video of the former rugby star moving forwards in a frame and a harness, assisted by two physiotherapists.
McKinnon recently said walking his long-term partner Teigan down the aisle at their wedding was “physically not possible”, but his latest progress shows just how determined he is to defy the odds.
McKinnon’s life changed in an horrific split-second during a game for the Knights against Melbourne.
Three Storm players hit him with an illegal spear tackle.
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Storm forward Jordan McLean was banned for seven weeks for his role in the incident.
He received £300,000 in compensation and the sport rallied round him with fund-raising events to help pay for his ongoing care.
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McKinnon admitted in 2015 he had wanted to die.
“I didn’t want to be alive, I honestly didn’t,” he said on his early days after he had been woken from an induced coma in hospital.
“I just felt like it was torture, that’s just the way I felt.”
He got engaged to girlfriend Teigan two weeks after coming out of the coma, and she has been an amazing support to him during his rehabilitation.
They are due to get married soon and want to start a family.
Teigan, who is studying to become a teacher, said recently: “One of the first things Alex wanted to know after the accident was whether we could have kids one day because he didn’t want to miss out on that.
“So we went to see a fertility specialist and it seems there’s a great chance because he still creates sperm.”
McKinnon now works as an inspirational speaker in Australia.
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