WEST DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A life can change in an instant. It did for Devon Walker of Tulane University after a helmet to helmet collision in a game against Tulsa. Doctors are still evaluating his injury, but it is possible that Walker may never walk again.
In October 2009, life also changed for Jared Williams. Williams was a 14-year-old freshman football player at Pinkston High School in West Dallas when a simple tackle made life very complicated. “People take that I’m in a wheelchair as a handicap and not a strength,” Williams explained.
Jared broke his neck and has not been able to walk ever since. The now 17-year-old senior is reminded of that every day by the house that was built to accommodate his disability.
Jared’s mother is also reminded of her son’s condition every time another player is injured on the field. “Oh my God, another one,” she says to herself every time she hears of another spine or neck injury related to football.
Arlenna Williams says she has no intention of convincing other parents to keep their children off the field. In fact, she has no regrets about her son. “It was something he wanted to do all of his life and he got hurt doing something that he enjoyed. I can’t look back and regret it, ” said Arlenna.
But Arlenna recognizes the dangers of football and prays that someday, someone will find a way to make the game safer.
It may be too late for her son, but he’s okay with that. Jared is already moving on to bigger and better things. “I would like to do four years of college and make life a lot easier for me as a person,” said Jared.
The high school senior graduates in May and plans to attend Devry.